Amazon is reportedly working on the first home robot, according to Bloomberg. The report states that the company is still working on prototypes of the robot with the codename Vesta.
The company has been developing project Vesta for some time and it's ramped up its team as the project takes shape.
Amazon's Lab126 is currently working on project Vesta, which is behind Amazon's Echo, Fire TV, Kindle, and Fire Phone. Project Vesta has been in the work for a few years, according to the report.
The name Vesta comes from the Roman goddess of the home and family, which fits with what Amazon hopes to do with the robot. With the success of the Echo, Amazon hopes that it will take off in the same vein and be incorporated into the home of consumers.
Amazon has been ramping up its postings for robotic engineers. The report also says that the company is hoping to have prototypes for testing by the end of 2018 in the homes of Amazon employees. It also states that the robot could be available to consumers as early as 2019.
Amazon has not commented on the news story and told Bloomberg that the company doesn't comment on rumors and speculation.
Gregg Zehr, head of Lab126's hardware research and development division, oversees the project. Leading the work on the computer vision is former Apple executive Max Paley.
Those that have heard about the Vesta project told Bloomberg that they think it could be a mobile Alexa. The robot goes where the humans are to help with everyday tasks. Prototypes of the Vesta project feature advanced cameras, computer vision software, and they're able to navigate homes on their own.
Amazon And Robots
This isn't the first time that Amazon has flirted with robots, but it is the first time that the company will try to install one in people's homes. Amazon currently has robots working in its warehouses, and it is one of the companies that are at the forefront of automation.
Amazon first started using robots in its warehouses in 2014. The robots were developed by Amazon Robotics, formerly Kiva Systems a company that Amazon purchased in 2012. It currently has more than 100,000 robots working in warehouses around the world.
Amazon defends its decision to have so much automation in plants by saying it's time-saving and that this lets people do jobs that engage them mentally.