Meet Scout

blog.aboutamazon.com

Amazon have entered the autonomous rover delivery business. They introduced Scout, "the size of a small cooler, and roll along sidewalks at a walking pace." Starting this week 6 Scouts will begin delivering packages to customers in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington (close to Amazon). This is a new trend that has taken hold with companies including Pepsi, Postmates and Starship Technologies all in the battle to replace human delivery people with robots - understandable in markets where the cost of labor is high like the US and Europe - but I still wonder what the ROI math looks like here. While the robot delivery technology is certainly novel and cool, for this to see application at scale will take years and tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Worth it? I'm not so sure.

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