Amazon has begun using Scout, its six-wheeled autonomous delivery robot, in a neighborhood in Irvine, California, according to a report.
As the company had been testing the robot in Seattle, it said it was accustomed to many different types of weather conditions and expected sunny California to be easier on the vehicle.
“Over the last few months, Amazon Scout has delivered thousands of smiles to customers just outside of Amazon’s headquarters in Washington state. All the while, the devices have safely and autonomously navigated the many obstacles you find in residential neighborhoods – trash cans, skateboards, lawn chairs, the occasional snow blower and more,” the company said in a blog post. “Scout has even made a handful of furry neighborhood friends, like Winter the cat and the excitable Irish terrier Mickey.”
Amazon said it would deploy only a small number of robots to neighborhoods, and they will make deliveries during daylight hours from Monday to Friday. The company will send out the robots randomly regardless of which delivery option the consumer selects.
“One of our favorite parts of this journey so far has been witnessing how excited customers are when they see the delivery device for the first time and how they’ve welcomed Scout into their neighborhood,” Amazon noted in the announcement. “In the span of a week, our Ambassadors witnessed a child ask her dad for a Scout for Christmas, and another customer ask if he could hitch his two dachshunds to Scout and use it as a dog walker,” the company said. “While the intent of our ‘adora-bots’ is and will remain delivery, we couldn’t help but chuckle at these reactions. We have a lot of pride packed inside these cooler-sized devices and love to see such a positive reaction from the community.”
The robots won’t roam neighborhoods alone, at least not at first. They will be accompanied by an “Amazon Scout Ambassador,” who will provide research for the company while answering questions from the public. Amazon’s goal is for the robots not to be a novelty, and for people to get used to seeing them and allow them to do their work unimpeded.
“We’re still in field test mode, and our expansion to the Irvine area is just another in the many steps forward for this new delivery system,” Amazon said. “The future is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited.”