Employees are said to begin testing the robot later this year.
In just four short years, Amazon's turned Alexa into a household staple for millions of people across the world. The virtual assistant can already help users out with various questions and commands in its current form, but now it's reported that Amazon will be taking things a step further by creating an in-home robot.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon's Lab 126 – the same team behind Echo speakers, Fire TV, Fire tablets, etc. – has begun development of a robot codenamed "Vesta" (the Roman goddess of the home and family). Vesta is still very much in its early days, but it's said that Amazon plans on testing it in employees homes at some point this year before selling it to the public in 2019.
Did anyone think Amazon wouldn't make an Alexa robot?
Although specifics on Vesta are still few and far between, one Amazon employee says that it's supposed to act as a portable version of Alexa that can travel to different parts of your house where you don't already have an Echo speaker. Early prototypes are reported to feature cameras and computer vision tech, allowing Vesta to safely make its way through people's homes.
It's hard to not get excited about an Amazon-made robot, but there are still a lot of important details we aren't sure of. Vesta could feature moving arms and other limbs to help out with chores around the house, but on the flip side, it could also be nothing more than a glorified Echo speaker that just happens to move. I'm not saying that that last option would be bad, but the term "robot" can have a lot of different meanings.
Considering everything Alexa can do in its current stationary form, it's hard to imagine what it'd be capable of when given the ability to move. It's entirely possible Amazon will decide to scrap Vesta like it's done with other Lab 126 projects, but this feels like the next natural move for the company's assistant.
Are you ready to live with an Alexa robot in your house?
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