Amazon Has Top-secret Plan To Build Domestic Robot

Blue Frog's'Buddy robot companion

Blue Frog's'Buddy robot companion

The Amazon robot that the retail giant is thinking about developing will be a sort of virtual assistant housed in some sort of mechanical exterior. Those products include hits like Amazon's Echo speakers and Fire TV set-top boxes (though Lab126 is also responsible for the disgusting Fire Phone).

Amazon is seeking to put robots into the homes of employees before the end of this year, while the general public may see a release of Vesta as soon as 2019. According to Bloomberg, it could be kind of "Mobile Alexa" which user can use it when they are around their house or they can directly speak to the Echo speaker.

Already, prototypes feature advanced cameras and computer vision software, allowing the robot to move around a home like a self-driving auto, presumably aware of the surroundings and avoiding obstacles.

There are a few hints in Amazon's recent engineering hires.

According to Bloomberg, Amazon is building its first robot.

It's not clear what kind of home robots Amazon is believed to be working on, but sources said they will be different from the ones designed by Amazon's subsidiary in MA and Germany, called Amazon Robotics. As of now, Amazon won't comment on rumors or speculation.

The project is codenamed "Vesta" after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home, and family. The latest breakthroughs in AI, voice activation and computer vision will allow Amazon to produce the robot. The project is being run by Gregg Zehr at Amazon's Lab126 research and development group out in Sunnyvale, California.

The robot may have a touch-screen, a keypad, and a biometric scanner so that recipients of packages are able to confirm their identify. In January at CES, LG showed off a robot called Cloi in a demonstration that failed multiple times. The group is credited with creating bestselling devices such as the Kindle e-reader and the Echo line of Alexa-powered smart speakers. However, there is no guarantee that the project will make it past early trial phases.

It uses artificial intelligence to learn and interact with its owner and surroundings.

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