The R&D division unit at Lab126 owned by Amazon is working on a secretive project, insiders claim. Lab126 are the same makers of the Echo and Kindle smart speakers, and Fire products such as Fire TV and streaming devices, Fire tablets, and as well as the failed Fire Phone The project entails developing a robot, codenamed Vesta, which will be an in-home robot for domestic purposes and tasks. It will be tested by the end of 2018 before it releases in the market in 2019. Amazon is reportedly very keen on developing this project into reality very soon.
A portable version of Alexa?
Alexa home assistant from Amazon has become a companion in several households in the last four years. Reports claim “Vesta” could be just a portable version of Alexa. This mobile, autonomous model will move around in homes, assisting owners while getting access to Amazon’s listening virtual assistant in rooms without an Echo speaker. Vesta will be designed with a computer vision software and advanced camera, helping it efficiently navigate around objects in the house such as furniture, stairs, and doors.
Possible Features of Vesta
Though Amazon is tight-lipped about the whole project, various sources have dug deep to find out more about the mobile, autonomous version of Alexa including some interesting features such as:
Vesta will most likely be able to recognize users’ faces. By using motion detection and facial expressions, it will send you an alert on your smartphone to do a certain task or notify you about what to do during a certain situation, for example, greeting family members when they return home from outdoors. Facial recognition can also be used to record photos and videos around the house.
Just like how Alexa could pick up hints of emotion and expression in your voice, and in response, provide an action to take care of the mood. Similarly, Vesta will determine a response based on user reactions and mood. It will also, remember and record a specific action from the last time the user expressed it.Vesta will also, be able to serve as a personal assistant and stylist. It will use computer vision to recommend outfits, clothes brand and style depending on the weather and event. It will also, help iron clothes, fold laundry and other such home tasks.
Vesta could possibly work with many of Amazon’s in-home delivery services which will make the system more trustworthy and make tasks much easier than a combined effort from Amazon delivery services such as Key, drones and Cloud Cam.
Future of robots
The idea of domestic robots has been long in the plans for several corporations but even the richest and largest firm could not meet the standards of making robots neither commercially viable nor home friendly. Even the most advanced robot designed has limited features and comes with an uneconomical price tag.