Are You Ready for Your Robot? Amazon to Launch Home Robots in 2019
We’re One Step Closer to The Jetsons (or Skynet?)
According to a recent story published by Bloomberg, Amazon is on the cusp of launching its first line of domestic robots sometime in 2019. In the ten years since the world’s largest online retailer launched its revolutionary kindle e-reader, it has also launched many variations of its popular Echo device, featuring the ever-popular Alexa virtual assistant.
Prior to the Echo, the thought of speaking to a computer was a foreign concept, but now it happens on a daily basis in millions of homes. The Echo has even had a role in the rise of home automation. But now, Amazon is taking virtual assistants to the next level.
Amazon’s line of domestic robots is rumored to be called Vesta, after the Greek goddess of hearth, home, and family. Here’s everything we know about Vesta at the moment.
Lab126 Is Behind the Hardware
Lab126 is Amazon’s hardware research and development division. Located in Sunnyvale, California, Lab126 is the same team behind Amazon’s Fire TV devices, Echo speakers, Fire tablets, and Amazon’s discontinued Fire smartphone. The Vesta project is being overseen by Gregg Zehr.
Interest was piqued when Lab126 was noticed posting several job openings for people with experience in robotics. In the Bloomberg article, Amazon is reportedly planning on early testing of the robots in employees’ homes by the end of this year. When asked about the project’s progression, an Amazon spokesperson stated that the company doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.
What Will the Vesta Robots Be Able to Do?
Much is still not known about what Amazon’s initial line of domestic robots will be able to do. Many accounts suggest that the robots will start off as a mobile version of Alexa, capable of roaming from room to room. The robots are said to be equipped with advanced cameras, artificial intelligence, and computer vision software that will allow it to move around the home much like a self-driving car does on the road.
Despite many attempts in the past at creating a useable domestic robot, to date, only the Roomba has proved to be a success; that device can only do one thing, however, which is vacuum. As we inch closer to 2019, it will be interesting to see what Amazon’s top-secret robotics team comes up with. As with all the company’s devices, the initial line of Vestas will more than likely ship with basic functions, with updates and additional features released as they come available.
With all hope, we may look back at this advancing smart home addition as the start of the era of The Jetsons, and not the tipping point toward Skynet. Remember when a smart home was as simple as a dumbwaiter? The technological advances of today were once a thing of the future.