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Robot Scout, Amazon stop testing and fire employees

Also a project The delivery bot, named Scout, may be nearing completion. Amazon is scaling back its development plans, but insists the project is far from over.

Report it BloombergIn fact, according to the newspaper, the company not only stopped testing the car, but the scout team, consisting of about 400 employees around the world, may have been disbanded. The news contradicts the words of an Amazon spokeswoman, Alyssa Carroll, who told A the edge The company does not give up the scouting program completely. This is an excerpt from his words.

“We are downsizing the program and still have a dedicated Scout team. During the limited Scout field testing, we worked to create a unique delivery experience, but learned through feedback that there were aspects of the program that we did not meet the needs of customers. As a result, we are ending our tests field and reorient the program. We work with employees during this transition, matching them to open roles that best fit their experience and skills.”

The Scout was launched in 2019 and has been tested in several states since then. The machine has joined a growing number of semi-autonomous delivery robots; From small wheeled robots, such as Scout and Starship Technologies, to micro-sized “capsule” robots, such as those tested by Uber Eats and self-driving startup Nuro, and are currently being implemented in China by Amazon’s e-commerce rival, Alibaba.

In most cases, the idea is that robots Manage “last mile” call deliveries, that is, the final paths of packages from local distribution centers to customer entry doors. However, as Amazon’s move with Scout suggests, it’s not the most cost-effective way to use such technology. On the other hand, robots have more autonomy, but many operations must necessarily be controlled remotely especially when unforeseen situations occur. They are also slow! Effective way They don’t move faster than humans When walking, which gives them little advantage over traditional couriers. Bloomberg He points out that Amazon’s decision to phase out the Scout test is part of a company-wide move to scale back more speculative investment as growth in the key retail sector slows.

But it is not the first tech project the company has withheld, for example, recently, the development of the interactive video device for families Amazon Glow was stopped, and by the end of the year the telemedicine service will be closed. Amazon Care. Who knows if Amazon Prime Air delivery service will survive this trend. We remember that the project was announced in 2016, but in recent years there have been more and more reports of high employee turnover within the team and at the same time criticism of the management and long-term outlook of the project has increased. We just have to follow the events to understand the direction the company will take.

In the meantime, Amazon is preparing for a new Prime Day, which will actually happen in a few days, 11 and 12. Are you ready for this new round of fall deals?

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