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Amazon’s Scout robots delivery in Irvine, California


It’s been a while since Amazon began testing its delivery robots called Scout in Snohomish County, Washington. Now, the retail giant plans on extending the program to Irvine, California. As part of the expansion, Amazon will be rolling out only a small number of Scout robots. Plus, these delivery robots will be delivering packages in broad daylight on weekdays only.

Amazon will also be assigning a human operator for every testing Scout in the streets. The robots will be autonomously delivering the packages, but an Amazon employee will be right around the corner should anything go wrong. These are the same policies that Amazon followed when it began testing Scout back in Washington.

For its tests, Amazon has been combining real-world tests and digital simulations of cities. For these simulations, Amazon is using 3D data of landscapes and obstacles and actual mapping of areas. Apart from autonomous robots for delivery, Amazon is also actively testing Amazon Prime Air with drone delivery, which is still in its early stages.

As part of the expansion program, the Scout robots will be seamlessly integrated into orders for customers in the Irvine area alone. So, if you’re a resident of Irvine, your next Amazon shipment might be delivered by an autonomous robot depending upon the logistics.


Unsold warehouse merchandise will be donated says Amazon


There’s a new program announced by Amazon in the US and the UK. The unsold and unwanted products from other third-part sellers in its Marketplace will be donated. Earlier, they were simply dumped as a waste, which will no longer be followed.

One of the main reasons for these products sitting in the warehouse is because they were returned or maybe because they defected products. Now, Amazon has launched a Fulfilled by Amazon Donations program where thousands of such unsold products will be donated to various nonprofits in the US and UK. For instance, the Salvation Army, Newlife, and Barnardo’s in the UK.

The new program will now be made the default for third-party sellers in the Amazon Marketplace. According to a report by CBS News, nearly 293,000 products were thrown into a garbage dump at a single Amazon facility. Imagine the hundreds and thousands of facilities spread across the countries.

Alice Shobe, the director of Amazon in the Community said in a statement: “We know getting products into the hands of those who need them transforms lives and strengthens local communities. We are delighted to extend this program to sellers who use our fulfillment services.”


Tap into Apple’s latest offering: the Apple Card


Apple’s latest offering a new credit card called the Apple Card that was created in a partnership with Goldman Sachs. Apple CEO Tim Cook had announced that the Card would be launched in August and here it is! The Apple Card will now be available to iPhone owners in the US soon.

Earlier, as part of a trial, many people had signed up for the beta testing. Those testing the Apple Card will require to have an iPhone with the latest iOS of 12.4. Other details like the person’s address, income, birthday, along with the last four digits of their social security number had to be disclosed. This information was next sent to Goldman Sachs who would approve or decline your application for the Apple Card.

The Apple Card is the company’s direct entry into the world of banking and retail. The idea here is to compete with other such service providers like American Express Platinum cards and Chase Sapphire. However, Apple is working on making the card more and more accessible to people. As long as you own an iPhone, you can have an Apple Card says the company.

Once you receive an approval from Goldman Sachs, the virtual card will show up in your apple Wallet instantaneously. Apart from this, you can also apply/request for the physical titanium card for free. This will be delivered to you through the mail.


College campuses will soon be swarmed with delivery robots


College students in the US here’s special news for you. The next time you order pizza, an autonomous delivery robot might be delivering it to your dorm room! Starship Technologies announced that nearly a thousand autonomous six-wheeled delivery robots will be stationed to deliver to college students.

Starship Technologies recently raised $40 in a Series A round of funding. The startup plans on spreading its delivery robots across college campus over the next two years. So far, everything seems to be going great for the company with its robots tests in more than 100 cities, spread across 20 different countries. The company also marked its 100,000th delivery after having successfully crossed as many as 4 million streets.

A college campus is an ideal place to run an autonomous delivery robot business. Considering the well-laid paths, tech-savvy students, and fixed campus boundaries, Starship Technologies is heading back to college for its business upgrade! In order to make this work, the company is also closely working with administrations of each college where it intends to launch.

Starship plans to deploy 25–50 robots at each campus over the next 24 months, which means there could be upwards of 5,000 robots in its initially planned schools by 2021. According to CEO Lex Bayer, the ability of every robot to deliver for many hours at a stretch is its biggest advantage.


Postmates Sidewalk Delivery Robots get green signal


San Francisco has given Postmates, the grocery and food delivery startup, a green signal to test its sidewalk delivery robots. Postmates calls these sidewalk robots as Serve, which were announced last year. At present, Postmates is already running its delivery robots in roughly 3,500 cities. With the sidewalk delivery robots, Postmates is certain of further expansion.

The new range of ‘Serve’ robots are electric that is equipped with LIDAR sensors from Velodyne. The robots also have Nvidia Xavier processor for enhanced mobility service. Postmates claims that the delivery robot can carry 50 lbs and travel 30 miles, all on a single battery charge.

The testing permit granted by San Francisco Public Works is valid for 180 days. The permit guidelines also say that for every robot testing, a human operator needs to be within 30 feet for the entire testing phase. Although Postmates plans on expanding to other cities for testing, no such announcements have officially been made. Postmates Sidewalk Delivery Robots get green signal

While Postmates is making incredible progress with its delivery robots, many other companies/startups are working on similar services. But one can say that Postmates has achieved in making a name for itself in the arena of efficient autonomous deliveries.