Amazon scaling back home-delivery robot program

SEATTLE — After reports surfaced last week that Amazon was abandoning Scout, its home delivery robot, officials have clarified the actions the company is taking with the program.

“During our limited field test for Scout, we worked to create a unique delivery experience, but learned through feedback that there were aspects of the program that weren’t meeting customers’ needs. As a result, we are ending our field tests and reorienting the program. We are working with employees during this transition, matching them to open roles that best fit their experience and skills,” said Alisa Carroll, Amazon spokesperson.

Scout was introduced in 2019 as a six-wheeled, autonomous robot designed to deliver Amazon orders to your doorstep.

In what’s likely a sign of slowing sales growth, Amazon has decided, after two years of testing in Seattle, it will be “reorienting the program,” according to Bloomberg. The robot was first tested in the suburbs of Snohomish County, Washington, according to KIRO-TV.

Around 400 workers on the Scout team will be offered new jobs at the company, Amazon spokesperson Alisa Carroll told Bloomberg.

According to The Associated Press, there have been recent reports of hiring freezes in other divisions of Amazon, signaling that the company may have concerns about an economic downturn.

Amazon has recently discontinued its video calling device, Amazon Glow. According to CNBC, the company has also wound down its Amazon Care Telehealth service and closed several store locations across the country.