Meet the Amazon Scout: a six-wheeled delivery robot designed to carry your Amazon orders straight to your door.
Poised as a ground-level alternative to Amazon’s flying delivery drones, the Scout is effectively an autonomous courier that will navigate the streets instead of the skies.
As with drones, there’ll be a practical limit to the bots’ carrying capacity – good luck getting it to deliver any furniture – but for small packages or food deliveries, there’s certainly an argument for their use.
Amazon has now begun limited trials of the Scout in Snolhomish County, Washington, with Amazon employees supervising the bots to handle any unexpected roadblocks – or, let’s be honest, vandals. You can see the Scout in action in the idyllic promo video below.
I wanna be like you
The Amazon Scout bears an uncanny resemblance to the delivery robots developed by Starship Technologies, an autonomous transport startup created by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis.
With a similar shape and six-wheel motor, it will be interesting see if Amazon comes up against the same hurdles as Starship – which pulled its robots from larger, congested cities to focus on more rural areas, where its devices could navigate more freely and more directly benefit less-connected communities.
Knowing Amazon, it will want to scale up the project as large as it can, though that may change when the Scout has had the chance to do some recon.