The world’s largest e-commerce company, Amazon, presents its Scout delivery robots that are currently being tested in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington. Amazon Scout provides a delivery solution within a small neighborhood or community. It is the last entry to the market for autonomous shipping that is used to deliver food or other goods to customers without a human driver.
During the trial period, six Amazon Scout delivery vehicles will be tasked with delivering daytime packages Monday through Friday. For each Scout, there will be a designated Amazon employee who will oversee the entire delivery process. This will ensure the safety and efficiency of these delivery robots, especially when navigating pedestrians, pets and others that may block their path. Automated delivery robots are equipped with six small wheels, move at a slow pace and run on an electric battery.
Before Amazon started with these autonomous delivery robots, there were new companies and larger companies that had already experimented with this type of technology. Starship Technologies first introduced the small robotic automatic delivery vehicles in 2016. The delivery robots moved on the sidewalks at pedestrian speeds and were designed only for short-range local deliveries. Each robot is equipped with a set of sensors for efficient navigation. Includes cameras, GPS and inertial measurement unit. Domino’s Pizza is one of the first companies that teamed up with Starship Technologies for its food delivery service.
To date, there are similar trials that are being implemented around the world, most of which can be found in closed sites such as schools and industrial complexes. The availability of low-cost sensors and the advancement in machine learning have made this new technology easy to administer. In the event that the robot does not work as expected, the risk is even lower compared to cars that drive by themselves. The Amazon Scout is a very promising device that we can all hope for.