Next Big Thing? Driverless Delivery with Amazon Scout

Next Big Thing? Driverless Delivery with Amazon Scout

February 10, 2019

Your Amazon Prime packages will soon be delivered to your doorstep by Scout, Amazon’s new six-wheeled autonomous delivery robot.

Amazon is field testing Scout in Snohomish, Washington, to ensure its bot can navigate sidewalk chaos and street traffic. The company is betting that Scout will make last-mile package delivery cheaper, faster, and more efficient.


Video Spotlights:


This post is based on the Wired article, The Prime Challenges for Amazon’s New Delivery Robot, by Matt Simon and Arielle Pardes, January 23, 2019; and the YouTube videos, Amazon Scout, by Amazon, January 23, 2019, and Amazon Scout will usher in the age of autonomous delivery, by TWiT Netcast Network, January 28, 2019. Image source: Tetra Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the benefits of employing robots to deliver packages?

Guidance: Multiple benefits come to mind. It can make the last-mile delivery from a transportation hub to customers’ homes cheaper, faster, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. It may make economic sense to augment a human delivery fleet with robots.

2. What are the challenges for Amazon’s delivery robot?

Guidance: The robot Continue reading

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Toddler Gets Popsicle by Drone

Toddler Gets Popsicle by Drone

August 27, 2018

Solving the last-mile delivery problem is difficult.

One approach that is being considered is delivery by drone.  Previous OM in the News posts have looked at drone use by Zipline and Doordash.  Now, the FAA has conducted a test with a drone out of line-of-sight of the operator.

The test: delivering a Popsicle in 6 minutes from a simulated store, to a 2-year-old more than a mile away. The FAA’s drone didn’t land, but instead hovered, and lowered the Popsicle with a tether.

Current regulations limit the use of drones to line-of-sight operation.  If tests like this one are successful, the line-of-sight limitation might be lifted.


Video Spotlight: Toddler’s Popsicle-by-Air Marks Milestone in U.S. Drone Delivery


This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Toddler’s Popsicle-by-Air Marks Milestone in U.S. Drone Delivery, by Alan Levin, August 8, 2018; and the Bloomberg video, accompanying Bloomberg video. Image source: wundervisuals/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What problems are facing the use of drones for the last-mile-delivery?

Guidance: In the US, regulations are part of the problem.  The FAA hasn’t approved drones for use beyond line-of-sight.  The Popsicle delivery was one test of concept Continue reading

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