The Verge: Scout VP Sean Scott explains that the business has produced comprehensive digital avenues of American suburbia to accelerate the development of the bot. It has collected 3D data, real-life textures, and modeled the sidewalk to the storm drains.
“We can run thousands of deliveries in simulation overnight versus taking a boat outside in the real world,” Scott says. It thinks it’s in the real world, which is pretty cool.”
Back in January, Amazon introduced Scout, a robot on six wheels about the size of a little cooler which will deliver packages directly to customers’ doors. The company said it would start with six Scouts working Monday through Friday, in the daylight. The robots will follow their routes autonomously, but at least for a while, they’ll be accompanied by an Amazon employee.
Scott adds that he doesn’t know of any other company “speaking about this level of fidelity at this scale for this sort of coaching,” and that Amazon’s other training device comprises an indoor robot park, and unique rigs to test the durability of this bot’s brakes.
Amazon’s Scout robot can’t climb steps, so for the moment, the organization’s helpers need to take deliveries out of the robot and then hand them over on the doorstep. (Some companies are considering legged robots to make this procedure simpler.) Additionally, there are potential regulatory challenges, with a few cities such as San Francisco branding delivery robots a hassle and banning them from the sidewalk altogether.
Amazon introduced Scout earlier this season and has been testing the machine in Snohomish County in Washington state, which is north of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Customers in the test area that dictates on Amazon are eligible to possess. Scout robots to arrive at their doorstep.
Amazon has not yet confirmed when or where it will expand the service.