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Sci-Tech

Amazon Scout robots are heading out to deliver packages

The cooler-size autonomous robots are set to hit the streets Wednesday in Washington state.

primescout

Amazon Scout robots are delivering goods to customers in a neighborhood in Washington state. 

Amazon

Amazon is testing a small fleet of autonomous delivery robots in Washington state.

On Wednesday the company introduced Scout, a fully electric robot about the size of a small cooler, that'll deliver packages to customers' doorsteps. Starting Wednesday, these robots are delivering items in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington, Amazon said in a blog post.

The e-commerce giant said it's starting with six Amazon Scout robots that'll make deliveries Monday through Friday during the daytime. Scout robots can navigate around pets, people and other objects in their way, Amazon said, though they'll initially be accompanied by a human employee.

"We are happy to welcome Amazon Scout to our growing suite of innovative delivery solutions for customers and look forward to taking the learnings from this first neighborhood so Amazon Scout can, over time, provide even more sustainability and convenience to customer deliveries," Sean Scott, vice president of Amazon Scout, said in the blog post.

Amazon regularly experiments with new ways to deliver packages, including its Prime Air drones and its in-home delivery service called Key. Amazon completed its first public drone delivery in 2017. Other companies, such as Segway and Postmates, have also been testing autonomous robots that can deliver goods to customers.

Since 2012 Amazon has been using KIva robots in its warehouses to help employees transfer goods. The Kiva robots were installed in 10 of Amazon's US warehouses in California, Texas, New Jersey, Washington and Florida by 2017.

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First published Jan. 23 at 10:52 a.m. PT. 
Update, Jan. 24, 6:52 a.m. PT: Adds more information on autonomous delivery.