Amazon has been busy conquering the living room in recent years. First, the Kindle was launched in the United States, which turned out to be one of the most popular e-readers. Then the Kindle Fire tried to capture the market of the tablets, and of course, it is one of the largest web shops in the world.
With the Echo speakers, you may already have a smart speaker that can help you with different tasks every day, but that is not enough for Amazon. The company is said to be working on a domestic robot codenamed “Vesta” after the Roman goddess of family, hearth, and home. They have plans to launch the Vesta next year, a home robot. That is at least what Bloomberg claims from the sources that they have.
According to internal sources, the idea of this robot goes back several years, but the company would have accelerated things to launch it in 2019, after a test program at the end of the year. Amazon also posts a dozen open positions for hiring robotics engineers. An Apple alumnus, Max Paley, would fine tune the computer-aided vision of the machine.
Amazon will arrive with Vesta in 2019
Vesta, incidentally, is derived from the Roman god of family and home. Yes, the Romans apparently had a god for everything. The Vesta would be a mix of the technology used for different Alexa devices and could navigate through the house thanks to techniques that are now used in cars.
There is little information, on the design and functionality of this Vesta robot. It seems that it is equipped with cameras and sensors allowing it to navigate autonomously within a home. We can imagine that Vesta will become the mobile and robotic version of the voice assistant Alexa, who already equips Echo devices, according to the users who are on the move.
One thing is sure, Vesta is not developed by the Amazon Robotics vision, famous for having designed powerful industrial robots like Kiva. This unit focuses on automating handling tasks to save employee fatigue and increase the productivity of the company’s warehouses.
It remains to be seen whether Vesta will be able to succeed where many tech companies have broken their teeth: to design a “generalist” domestic robot that is financially accessible and that the general public can easily adopt. To date, only robot vacuum cleaners, highly specialized, have managed to impose themselves in the homes of users.
Amazon is not a company that must have the top segment of the market but focuses mainly on the breadth. Hopefully soon something really clear about the Vesta. Until then, we have some reasons to prefer the Amazon Echo over the Apple Homepod.