Amazon is still working on a mobile home robot, according to a report from BloombergIs Mark Gurman. It is also planning to add a high-end Echo to the range of Alexa devices.
We first heard about Amazon & # 39; s plans to build a wheeled robot in April last year. The project is said to have the code name & # 39; Vesta & # 39; (after the Roman goddess of the hearth) and rumors suggest that it is a kind of & # 39; mobile Alexa & # 39; is that users can follow in their homes.
Today's report does not add significantly to this photo, but it seems that Amazon is still interested in building the mobile device. It was apparently planned to launch this year, but was not yet ready for mass production. Engineers are said to have been taken from other projects to work on Vesta, and Gurman reports that prototypes are "medium-sized and navigate using a range of computer vision cameras & # 39; s." They can also be called using voice commands.
This (albeit vague) description actually comes quite close to some existing products. A startup named Temi sells a "personal robot" with comparable functionality, for instance. Temi the robot is medium in height, has a built-in screen for displaying information and can be controlled with Alexa. With a starting price of $ 1,999, however, it is not really aimed at consumers, but more at companies that want to use the bot as a guide in their stores and offices.
Together with his mysterious robot, Amazon is also working on a high-end Echo device that will be released next year. Bloomberg says the cylindrical speaker is wider than the existing Echo products to fit in additional speaker components, and can be launched alongside a high-fidelity version of Amazon's music streaming service.
As is always the case with such reports, these products may never really see the light of day. A mobile home robot is a particularly difficult sale. Over the past year, a number of companies offering home robots have collapsed, including Anki, the creators of the cute and caterpillar-tracked Vector bot, and Jibo Inc., the company behind the social bot Jibo.