Bloomberg reports the demise of Amazon Scout, the delightfully-shaped last-mile sidewalk delivery robot.
Amazon spokesperson Alisa Carroll said the Scout team was being disbanded and would be offered new jobs in the organization. About 400 people were working on the project globally, according to the person, who requested anonymity to discuss a private matter. A skeleton crew will continue to consider the idea of an autonomous robot, but the current iteration isn’t working.
400 people is a pretty huge project – well beyond Amazon’s famous “two pizza” rule. That also raises the question of how big the remaining “skeleton crew” will be.
Bloomberg puts this news in the context of a broader Amazon initiative to reign in far-flung experiments, in light of slower growth in its core business. Amazon is winding down its health care service, among other ventures.
No news on whether Amazon Prime Air drone delivery might be next for cutbacks.