ByeRobot: Amazon halts testing of home delivery bot Scout
Amazon is set to halt tests of its home delivery robot Scout, according to reports from Bloomberg and Reuters, due to a failure to meet customer expectations.
Bloomberg said that work on Scout, the ecommerce giant’s autonomous machine launched three years ago (2019), has already come to a halt, and those working on the bot are being redeployed elsewhere within the organisation.
The robot was developed using the expertise of delivery company Dispatch after Amazon acquired the firm in 2017.
The fully-electric delivery system was designed to ease the transportation of packages to customers by using devices similar in size to that of a small cooler, according to Amazon, which roll along pavements at a “walking pace”.
After testing the bot, however, it became clear to Amazon that it wasn’t meeting customer’s expectations.
“During our Scout limited field test, we worked to create a unique delivery experience, but learned through feedback that there were aspects of the program that weren’t meeting customers’ needs,” said an Amazon spokesperson. “As a result, we are ending our field tests and reorienting the program.”
The 400-person team that was working on the project is being disbanded and Amazon said it is “working with employees during this transition, matching them to open roles that best fit their experience and skills.”
In 2022, Uber cosied up with Serve Robotics and Motional in a partnership for an automated delivery service that saw the partners create a four-wheeled pavement delivery robot. Starship Technologies, Serve Robotics, Coco, Tortoise are also examples of startups developing bots in the market.
Despite parking the Scout robot, Amazon is continuing to invest in different types of bots. In August 2022, the ecommerce agreed to acquire iRobot for $1.7 billion, and two months prior to this, it launched the Proteus robot following the purchase of robot coordination and fulfilment company Kiva.
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