Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Amazon’s Scout robot appears to have made its last delivery

Amazon is ending field tests of its autonomous Scout delivery robot nearly four years after it unveiled the machine.

Amazon Scout

The company told Bloomberg on Thursday that during the tests, it learned there were “aspects of the program that weren’t meeting customers’ needs” — company speak for, “This really isn’t working out.”

Amazon said that as a result, it is ending the field tests of the wheel-based robot and “reorienting the program,” adding that it’s aiming to match workers involved in the project to other roles that suit their experience and skills.

Company spokesperson Alisa Carroll insisted to Reuters that it was not abandoning the project altogether, though Thursday’s development does rather suggest that Scout has already made its final delivery.

The web behemoth unveiled Scout in 2019, showing off a self-driving vehicle with a slew of sensors for safe navigation and a secure box for packages. It touted it as a last-mile delivery robot that would bring orders right to your door (or, let’s be honest, a little bit farther away if there were steps or an elevator to navigate).

One of the first trials of Scout took place in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington, using six of the robots. To reduce the chances of Scout suffering any kind of major mishap, the machine was accompanied by a human chaperone. The ultimate plan was, of course, to have Scout going solo, but Thursday’s news suggests it’s now going nowhere.

Amazon’s Scout robot looked remarkably like Starship Technologies’ own delivery robot, which has been in development since 2014. Unlike Scout, Starship’s effort is still trundling about, and to date has been tested in around 100 cities in 20 countries around the world, including the U.S. Unlike Scout, Starship’s robot focuses primarily on deliveries inside enclosed areas like college campuses.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Amazon expands its virtual healthcare service across the U.S.
Amazon Clinic on a smartphone.

Amazon is expanding its Clinic healthcare platform to all 50 U.S. states, plus Washington D.C.

Amazon Clinic launched in November 2022 to help people seek medical help for more than 30 common health conditions such as migraines, sinus infections, and pink eye.

Read more
Amazon taps florists and coffee shops for help with deliveries
Amazon Prime Day packages

Always looking for ways to boost elements of its gargantuan delivery network, Amazon is now actively recruiting small businesses in the U.S. that can assist it with its last-mile delivery efforts, Axios reported on Monday.

The online shopping giant is deploying the initiative -- called Amazon Hub Delivery -- in 23 states across the country, including in major cities such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

Read more
Deep-diving robotic sub could be last hope for lost Titanic tourists
The Victor 6000 robotic sub.

Victor 6000 will head to the Titanic shipwreck at the bottom of the North Atlantic to search for OceanGate Expeditions' lost submersible. Ifremer

With only hours left to save the five members of the lost Titanic submersible, a French underwater robot called Victor 6000 could be the rescue effort’s last hope.

Read more