Many Americans don’t go much further than their browser when they need to stock up on household items, a trend that’s evidenced by Amazon’s recent announcement that it has accumulated 100 million customers of its Prime subscription service. Prime’s free 2-day shipping and access to special pricing mean Amazon has become the go-to for many, but it seems the company is not satisfied with the level with which it has infiltrated your life.
Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon is undertaking a top-secret effort to build a robot that its customers could keep in their homes. Already famous for its Alexa, a cloud-based disembodied voice designed to respond to customer queries, the new robot project is said to take things one step further.
Bloomberg says the project is code-named “Vesta,” and it is speculated that it would operate like a mobile version of Alexa, following you through different parts of your home and functioning on a platform of sensors much like that of a self-driving car.
So far, there’s not that much information available on what these robots would do besides offering you so many more rooms in your house from which to order Amazon products. But that doesn’t mean Jeff Bezos and company don’t have lofty aspirations for what Vesta might eventually be able to accomplish. Current prototypes offer “advanced cameras and computer vision software” and some speculate that if anyone is able to crack the code on the servant robot – something capable of tackling light chores, for example – it’s Amazon, a company who has never shied away from aggressive R&D and, if necessary, the long game on ROI.
As a self-professed technology laggard, I’ll say my interest level will increase the closer Amazon can come to making Vesta look and work like Rosie from the Jetsons. So get on it, Jeff Bezos.