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A service robot serving wine in a dining room table
illustration: A service robot serving wine in a dining room.

Amazon has a Secret Home Robot Named “Vesta” in the Works

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illustration: A service robot serving wine in a dining room.

Amazon has been developing a top-secret plan to create robots to bring into consumer homes, says Bloomberg.

Prototypes are able to move about a house from one room to the next using sophisticated software.

Mobile Echo

Gerritt DeVynck from Bloomberg reported that Amazon’s newest top secret effort is a home robot.  It isn’t meant to be a butler or housekeeper out of The Jetsons. Instead, this project, codenamed “Vesta,” is more likely to be a mobile version of the Echo speaker.  This way, the device can follow people around and reach areas the speaker simply cannot.

These Amazon robots remain a top-secret plan.  That said, they could potentially bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to a new level. Gregg Zehr, head of Lab126 at Amazon, is overseeing this project.  Lab126 is the department responsible for research and development of Amazon hardware such as the Fire tablets and phone, the Fire TV and the highly popular echo speakers.

Beefing Up Hiring

Although the Vesta project first began a number of years ago, Amazon started aggressively boosting its hiring for the project in 2018.  There are a significant number of job listings posted on the Lab126 Jobs page for positions such as “Principal Sensors Engineer” and “Software Engineer, Robotics.”

Bloomberg reported that the company seeks to start planting the Vesta robots within Amazon employee homes before 2018 comes to a close.  This would be an initial testing phase before the first test consumers gain access to the Amazon robots as soon as early 2019. That said, this timeline is more than likely to shift as development and testing progresses. Furthermore, Amazon is known for bringing development up to a certain point before stopping a project altogether.

“Rumors and Speculation”

Amazon has not made an official comment on its Vesta home robot program.  A spokesperson stated that the company does not comment on “rumors and speculation.” Therefore, it is unlikely that we will be able to expect any official comment from the company until the time when it is ready to unveil the robot – assuming the project is not shut down before that can happen.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.