Ever wish that you had a personal robot to answer questions and perform chores? Well, that may soon become a reality as new reports suggest Amazon is developing a personal robot. According to The Verge, the e-commerce giant’s research and development center, Lab126, is working on a robot for the home. Named Vesta, it could become Amazon’s next big thing.
While Amazon hasn’t officially announce Vesta, sources close to the project say it could function like a moving Alexa assistant, gliding along floors while answering questions and responding to voice commands in the process. Amazon already has its popular Alexa-powered smart speaker, the Echo. However, all current Echo models are stationary. A moving Alexa-powered robot would extend Amazon’s personal assistant to a larger area.
With Vesta, users could call the robot to the room in which they are located. Depending on its method of mobility, Amazon’s robot may glide along the floors using rollers, or it may have actual legs for walking. Once Vesta has made its way to the user, he or she can ask Alexa questions or perform other voice commands.
Additionally, Amazon’s Vesta may have other features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity and video playback. The latter would be a welcome addition as it would allow users to watch videos or even play video games on Vesta.
Although it’s certainly plausible for Amazon’s Vesta to feature Alexa, it probably won’t be able to complete complex chores and tasks. Market experts say the technology needed for such automation simply isn’t available yet.
A personal robot isn’t a new concept. In fact, more than a dozen are currently available on the market, some of which include Jibo, Kiru, Lynx and LG’s Hub Robot. However, Amazon’s Vesta could provide a new level of functionality by making Alexa mobile in the home.
So, when can you expect to see Vesta available for sale? It’s still too early to make any definitive statements, but some sources say Amazon may launch the Alexa-powered home robot by the end of the year. Like other major online retailers, Amazon frequently launches its new products around the holidays, so keep your eyes peeled come November.