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Employees wanted: Amazon’s delivery robot Scout comes to Germany

Last updated on March 9, 2021

Amazon Scout: The small delivery robot is coming to Germany. (Photo: Amazon)

October 5th, 2020, 10:18 pm

Amazon has announced that it intends to set up a German team of experts for the further development of the Scout delivery robot at the Tübingen location. The first job advertisements are online.

At the development center in Tübingen, various teams are already working on artificial intelligence. Amazon is now looking for software engineers and application scientists whose specialty is computer-based vision and who are also familiar with robotics and autonomous systems.

Focus on AI-based perception system

The new team is to work with the scientists from the also new Cambridge team and the researchers from the Amazon headquarters. The aim of the development is an artificial perception system that translates the outside world into a navigable image using various sensors. This is intended to expand the delivery robot’s ability to react so that it can avoid pedestrians, animals, rubbish bins and street signs more safely.

For its research teams, Amazon is building a new building in the immediate vicinity of the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, which should be ready in autumn 2021. Anyone interested in the job advertisements can find them here.

This is the Amazon Scout

The Amazon Scout is a small, self-driving robot the size of a mini fridge that is supposed to deliver packages without contact. The fully electric vehicle drives on six rollers at walking speed. It is able to avoid obstacles such as pedestrians, street signs and other objects.

The delivery assistant presented in 2019 has so far been used in a rural region north of Seattle, in Washington, in California and, more recently, in Atlanta, Georgia and Franklin, Tennessee. The Scout continues to be used only in selected cases, not across the board.

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The scout is always accompanied by a person, the so-called “Scout Ambassador”. This is supposed to protect the robot from outside influences and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. In regular operation, the Scout should of course drive fully autonomously and alone.

Not all municipalities that Amazon had considered for the pilot operation were enthusiastic about the concept. For example, the mayors of San Francisco and New York had expressed concerns about the already overcrowded sidewalks.