An electric-powered, self-driving robot on wheels known as Amazon Scout is now delivering packages in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington.
Six Scouts, in fact, are operating, rolling along sidewalks at a walking pace and in daytime, Sean Scott, vice president of Amazon Scout, wrote Wednesday in a blog post.
Developed at Amazon’s research and development lab in Seattle, Scout was designed to avoid pets, pedestrians and anything else in its path. The devices, that are roughly the size of a small cooler, will autonomously follow their delivery route, though initially they will be accompanied by an Amazon employee.
Whether or not Amazon’s latest delivery system goes mainstream remains to be seen. customers are still waiting for drones to deliver Amazon packages, as CEO Jeff Bezos in 2013 predicted would occur within 5 years.
The retailer’s technology-driven forays have also included stores without cashiers in Seattle and Chicago, and robots helping out in its warehouses and fulfillment centers.
A robot fleet with a similar look also started circulating this week around George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, with more than twenty five knee-high, cooler-shaped devices delivering pizza, doughnuts and coffee on demand to students. starship Technologies said the service, opened in partnership with food services management company Sodexo, Drew hundreds of orders on Tuesday, its 1st day of operation.