If you’re staying safe at home and would rather not have a real person deliver packages to your door, you’ll be glad to hear Amazon is expanding its robot delivery service to two new locations.
Amazon started testing robot deliveries using its six-wheeled Scout robot back in January last year near Seattle. In August, Scout also started being used for deliveries in Southern California. Today, Amazon announced that Scout is “heading south,” and has started making deliveries in Atlanta, Georgia and Franklin, Tennessee.
The slow rollout of Scout is so that Amazon can carry out extensive testing in very different locations so as to ultimately be able to operate these autonomous deliveries everywhere. For example, the latest new locations “gives Scout devices the opportunity to operate in varied neighborhoods with different climates than they operate in today,” according to Sean Scott, vice president of Amazon Scout. It also helps that Amazon has what it calls a “significant presence” in each location, both in terms of corporate and logisitics facilities.
The Scout robot is roughly the size of a small cooler and has already demonstrated it can navigate around most obstacles, be that “pets, pedestrians, and other objects (including surfboards!).” Every neighborhood is different, though, and presents a new challenge for the little robot. For now, Scout deliveries are being restricted to daylight hours from Monday through Friday. The deliveries handled include free Same-Day, One-Day, and Two-Day for Prime members. However, Scout won’t be alone as Amazon is accompanying each robot with an Amazon Scout Ambassador.