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Sep 3, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

"Scout" – the new Amazon robot for automated deliveries

Amazon has started to use a number of autonomous robots in California to deliver small packages. Known as "Scouts", these six-wheeled machines can take on the delivery of small-scale products, whilst remaining under the watchful eye of an employee.

Photo credits: Amazon Scout/Amazon

In January this year, Amazon announced the launch of Scout, an autonomous six-wheeled delivery robot. It is basically a small blue trolley which can get about without human intervention, and it has already made its first trips along the streets of Irvine, California, according to French website Presse-Citron. "Scouts" will only be used for deliveries during the day from Monday to Friday, and the e-commerce giant has yet to say how many of them will be deployed around the Californian city.

Robots and employees working together

On its blog, Amazon has stated that the Scouts will be equipped with a compact loading area which will be used to transport small products.

When out making deliveries, the robot will always be accompanied by an employee of the firm who will be responsible for checking that everything goes according to plan, removing the packages from the autonomous robot to hand them over to the customer and to answer any questions that pedestrians may have when confronted with these strange new machines. 

Another step towards robotization

In recent years, Amazon has been fully committed to the automation of its activities, implementing an increasing number of initiatives to optimise costs, much to the concern of many of its employees.

The "Scout" robot however will not be a threat to jobs, according to Presse-Citron. As things stand, it is not yet capable of performing all the tasks of a human being as it has a relatively low level of autonomy and can also only carry a limited amount of merchandise in terms of weight. 

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