If you’ve ever desired a version of Alexa that can move by itself and follow you about (you never know when you’ll need to say ‘Alexa…’ in your home), Amazon are working on a robotic version of the voice assistant. Except it probably won’t be called Alexa. Vesta (which sought of rhymes with Alexa) is the working title of the wandering robot.
Bloomberg reports that Vesta, is being developed by Amazon Lab126 (the company’s a research facility based in Sunnyvale, California). The research lab is best known for developing Amazon’s Kindle line of e-readers and tablets. A robot is something very different, however.
As to what to expect from Vesta, Gizmodo reports that the prototypes are purportedly of a machine that is about waist-high and which features advanced cameras, computer vision, and can navigate through homes like driverless cars, which are the key features that enable the robot to navigate the home setting. Details on functionality are light. Will Vesta simply be a mobile Echo device; or will it engage in security scanning, for example?
In terms of when Vesta might appear, some reports suggest this year, but given that Amazon has released little in the way of information, the actual launch date might be further away.
In other Amazon news, the e-commerce site is considering introducing a higher-quality version of the Echo to better compete with the like of Sonos.