Amazon works hard to ensure your purchase packages arrive on time, and for as cheap as possible. The newest (and coolest) project the e-commerce giant is working on is a little autonomous delivery robot named Scout for future deliveries, and according to reports, it is in phase two of real-world testing, currently within an Irvine, California neighborhood.
Having said that, Irvine isn’t the first place to experience some Scout testing, as a suburban community in Snohomish County, Washington (north of Seattle) also underwent testing via deliveries that were human supervised.
A small, self-driving robot with six wheels, Scout is in and around the size of a recycling bin or large cooler. It moves at a walking pace, powered by batteries, and a big part of its development has been done via simulation, in much the same way corporations have been training neural networks designed to power autonomous vehicles. Amazon has created quite a realistic re-creation around a number of suburban communities (ones where Scout will be delivering the most in), and the company has simulated thousands of these deliveries within a time period of one night.
Said simulations create a knowledge database that should allow Scout to analyze situations the little robot could encounter when out in the “real world”. CNET reported that should a car be backing out of their driveway when Scout is on route, the machine will know to stop because of the simulations it has built up.
While it is unknown when the testing phase will be over for Scout, and real-life deliveries begin, it’s crazy to think that we are living in a world where a self-driving robot could potentially be delivering anything from headphones, to household items, food, and so much more!
Here’s hoping Scout’s Irvine testing goes off without a hitch!