EVERETT — The robots are here! And they’re packing the garlic press and six-pack of toilet paper you ordered.
Move over WALL-E and R2-D2. Amazon says it is rolling out new autonomous delivery robots, and their first test will be on sidewalks somewhere in Snohomish County.
A half-dozen cobalt-blue “Amazon Scouts” were to begin delivering packages Wednesday. But like the mystery that surrounded the search for location(s) for the company’s HQ2, Amazon isn’t saying where in the county the electric bots will be deployed.
So yes, if you see one we’d like to know, and we’d love a picture.
What we know is this: The autonomous delivery devices (ADD?) resemble mini-fridges on wheels. They’re about the size of a picnic cooler. You’ll recognize them because of Amazon’s distinctive swoosh and the word “Prime” emblazoned on their side panels.
The six-wheelers are not blazingly fast. They scoot along at a walking pace.
During their first forays, the bots will be accompanied by an Amazon employee.
They’re designed to navigate around “pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path,” Amazon said in a news release. Even so, you might want to keep Doggo on a leash.
They’re lightweight and can carry multiple packages, but they don’t accept returns. Or trash.
For this phase, the human handlers will deliver the package to the doorstep.
Amazon says it developed the sidewalk robots in its Seattle research lab.
The company didn’t say how long the exclusive Snohomish County field test will last.
Janice Podsada; firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods
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