Amazon is ending field tests for its Scout delivery robot, an autonomous personal delivery device that had been tested in several cities in the Puget Sound region and was the subject of a moratorium in Kirkland this year.

Amazon is scaling back its Scout team and “reorienting the program,” spokesperson Alisa Carroll said Thursday afternoon. The announcement was first reported by Bloomberg.

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“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,” Carroll said in an emailed statement.

Weighing about 100 pounds and resembling a blue cooler on wheels, Scout is a six-wheeled, battery-powered device intended to deliver products to customers before returning to a local dispenser. They travel up to a walking speed and can navigate around people or obstacles on sidewalks.

The devices delivered “tens of thousands” of packages in Washington state, California, Tennessee and Georgia, an Amazon representative said at a Kirkland City Council meeting earlier this year. Testing in Washington state began in 2019 in Snohomish County and included Bothell, Everett, Lynnwood and Mukilteo.

In Kirkland, however, the City Council issued a moratorium in February to provide more time for the city to address issues related to safety, zoning and navigation. The moratorium came after the Eastside city received four incomplete applications for building permits for units that house Scout devices.


The moratorium remains in place and city staff had been working on bringing the issue back to the city council in November, Kirkland city spokesperson David Wolbrecht said Thursday.

Caroll said the scale-back was based on feedback from customers and not on the city’s moratorium.

Amazon is working with employees to match them to open roles in the company, she added.