Amazon testing delivery by self-driving robots

Amazon on Wednesday deployed its first delivery robots, a cohort of six bright blue machines the size of "strollers" that will deliver items to Amazon customers in Snohomish County, Washington, according to a statement from the company.  

These are Amazon's first delivery robots, and they likely will not be the last.

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The devices, dubbed "Scout," will deliver items to customers during daylight hours in the county Monday through Friday starting this week, the company announced. They will follow the delivery route autonomously but will be accompanied by an Amazon employee for now.

"We developed Amazon Scout at our research and development lab in Seattle, ensuring the devices can safely and efficiently navigate around pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path," Amazon wrote in the statement.

A promotional video of the robots shows a small blue device moving at a walking pace down the sidewalk. When "Scout" appears in front of its destination, a hatch opens up so the customer can retrieve their item.

Delivery robots have been piloted on college campuses and at some offices, but they have not yet hit the mainstream.

“We are delighted to welcome Amazon Scout into our community," Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said in the Amazon statement. "Similar to Amazon, we are always looking for new ways to better deliver service to our residents."

"Scout" has six wheels and is powered by an electric battery. It looks similar to other delivery robots that have been deployed in other locations.