While the project has reportedly been in the works for years, Amazon appears to be hiring more employees for Lab126 to focus on robotics. It has recently been trying to hire more robotics engineers.
If all Vesta does is act as a mobile Alexa, that fails to live up to its billing as a "domestic" robot. Those familiar with the prototypes say that it will use a combination of cameras and software to navigate throughout a home in the same manner as a self-driving vehicle. No information on pricing so far.
Work on the robot has been going on for quite some time, according to Bloomberg's sources, but Amazon kicked the effort into high gear previous year with a hiring spree. All things considered domestic robots from Amazon should be an easy layup assuming it can nail the hardware design. The Vesta robot effort is different than the Amazon robotics business formed via the 2012 acquisition of Kiva Systems. The device would likely take advantage in advances in autonomous movement that have helped push self-driving auto tests.
If Amazon does launch a home robot, it'll be the company's latest product that brings it into our homes. The group has produced the Kindle e-reader, Echo speakers, Fire tablets and TV set-top boxes and the discontinued Fire phone. The Vesta robot is believed to be a mobile robot that's powered by Alexa.
A former Apple executive is working on developing computer vision for the device, while Amazon has hired several mechanical engineers from the robots industry to work on the team, Bloomberg said. LG showed off a robot called Cloi in a demonstration that failed multiple times.
The big question, aside from whether Amazon's robot ambitions ever come to fruition, is how much the Alexa robot will cost. By 2023, its worth is expected to jump to $15 million, according to an estimate from Research and Markets.