E-Commerce Giant Amazon has launched Autonomously Navigating Robots for delivering customer orders. The bots called Amazon Scouts are designed to be fully Autonomous and Electric.
The first installment for the deployment of these Robots has taken place in Snohomish County, Washington. Starting 23rd January, the Amazon Scouts will be seen delivering some of the orders placed by the customers in the Snohomish Neighborhood.
Amazon compares the size of the Scout to that of an air cooler. Judging by the looks, it is quite correct though. The Scout has a seemingly cute appearance with a boxy structure. Scout rolls on 6 wheels and its motion will be restricted to the foot paths, and not the main roads.
According to a video shared by Amazon, the Scout’s movement seem really slow paced and cautious. This is beneficial since the device is navigating autonomously. Slow and Cautious movement ensures a collision free trajectory.
The Scout will navigate autonomously to the destination. Once it reaches the destination, the Scout stops at the doorsteps and opens the container. Customers can then pick up their respective parcels. Once done, Scout moves on to the next location. It is not quite clear as if Scout will be delivering one parcel per visit. If it is indeed carrying more than one parcel, there should likely be some ,mechanism to ensure that the Customers pick up only their orders.
To start with, Amazon will be deploying a set of 6 scouts in the neighborhood of Snohomish. Though the Amazon Scouts will navigate on their own to the destination, they will initially be accompanied by Amazon Employees, since this technology is still in the testing phase.There are no specific steps required from the side of the Customer as a part of this deployment. They can continue using the Amazon services as is. Only some and not all of the orders will be delivered by the Amazon Scouts. How Amazon would make this pick has not yet been disclosed.
There are two possibilities on how this choice could be made. They could either be making a random pick, or the pick could also be based on a thorough Route Analysis. Since, this technology is still in the testing phase, Amazon is highly likely to choose routes filled with pedestrians, pets and other obstacles to understand, analyze and interpret the behavior of the Scout through such challenging routes. This would help in the further advancement and development of the Scout’s Self-Driving Activities.
Amazon Robotics in one of their blog posts had also mentioned that the Scout Delivery will be currently restricted to only day light hours on weekdays.
Video Courtesy – Amazon