Home automation is growing fast, and Amazon is one of the companies leading the way. Alexa on smart speakers and televisions, though, isn’t the limit. The e-commerce company wants to have a more active role in your home. Rather than relying on stationary connected devices, the future of Alexa could be on devices that move with you between rooms.
Amazon is developing robots for the home, according to Bloomberg. The report says the project, known internally as “Vesta,” includes robots that are similar to self-driving cars.
Various technologies are paired together for the robots to work. Lab126, the research and development facility behind other products like the Echo and Fire TV, is utilizing “advanced cameras and computer vision software.” The robots are then able to navigate without bumping into walls and furniture.
Beyond giving Alexa increased mobility, it’s unclear what else these robots might do.
Though hiring for the project has gone up significantly in 2018, Amazon’s been working on Vesta for a few years. Amazon is seeking to add engineers with experience using software and sensors relating to robotics. As the team grows, it’s likely the project is nearing a public launch.
If everything continues on its current path, the company will place robots in select employees’ homes this year. Amazon is interested in offering some type of robot to consumers by early 2019, but of course anything can happen between now and then to cancel the project. There’s no clear indication of when something born out of Vesta will, if ever, go official.
Amazon must have more up its sleeve because an on-the-go Alexa for the home doesn’t make too much sense. The Echo family is relatively inexpensive, meaning the company can generate more revenue by selling multiple smart speakers than one robot per customer.