Amazon's Alleged Alexa-Powered Robot Sounds Like An R2D2 For Your Home

It appears that Amazon is looking to take Alexa mobile. No, we're not talking about Alexa on your smartphone, but rather Alexa integrated into a robot that will be placed within your home. The robot is being developed under the codename "Vesta" and is being crafted by Amazon's Lab126 hardware research division. According to people familiar with Vesta, Amazon hopes to have prototypes placed with the homes of various employees by the end of 2018.
jeff bezos boston dynamics spot
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos takes a walk with a Boston Dynamics Spot robot

So, what exactly can we expect from Vesta robots? Not many details have been unearthed by Bloomberg, but it is said that the robot will follow users from room to room, providing access to Alexa services in a sector of your home that might not already have a stationed Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show. In that essence, it sounds a lot like a real-life R2D2 or BB-8 that serves as your own personal sidekick. However, there's no word on how such a device might handle stairs...

According to the report, the current prototypes have advanced cameras and computer vision software (which is being headed by former Apple exec Max Paley) to navigate around obstacles. 

For those of us that grew up watching The Jetsons (either during its original airing or via reruns), the promise of robots within our homes that can perform various tasks has been a dream. Sure, we have robotic vacuums that can take care of our floors, but how about a robot that can fetch me a beer or unload the dishwasher? Boston Dynamics has robots that can perform those tasks, but they are by no means mass produced and would cost an arm and a leg if they were.

As it stands now, the Vesta program sounds like it will deliver a device more akin to the ASUS Zenbo than the Boston Dynamics SpotMini.

(Top image courtesy of Jeff Bezos via Twitter)