Amazon shutting down tests of home delivery robot ‘Scout’ amid slowing sales

The latest indication that the e-commerce behemoth is starting to pare down experimental initiatives amid sluggish sales growth is Amazon’s decision to halt tests of its home delivery robot. 

According to a person acquainted with the issue, work on Scout, an autonomous machine begun roughly three years ago, has already been stopped. 

Alisa Carroll, a representative for Amazon, said that the Scout team will be dissolved and given new opportunities inside the company.

According to the source, who asked to remain anonymous to discuss a private topic, there were about 400 employees working on the project internationally. 

The notion of an autonomous robot will still be considered by a skeleton staff, but the existing design is ineffective.

According to Amazon spokesperson Alisa Carroll, the business is now “reorienting” or scaling back the initiative and would work with the affected workers to match them to other vacant jobs inside the company. 

However, she said that the project was not completely abandoned. 

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Before moving on to Southern California, Georgia, and Tennessee, Amazon began testing the fully-electric Scout in Washington state in 2019. 

The Scout is about the size of a small cooler and rolls down sidewalks at a walking pace.

(with inputs from agencies)