Amazon might be developing a home robot.
Bloomberg on Monday reported on the secret project, named “Vesta” after the Roman goddess of the hearth, citing anonymous sources familiar with the plans. The device could reach consumers as early as next year, though it may also be scrapped during development, the publication reported.
While the concept may seem farfetched to some, Amazon has been known to make big bets on oddball and unexpected ideas, and some do catch on. CEO Jeff Bezos said in February that his company will, so people should expect more smart home devices from the company, even if it’s not a robot.
Amazon representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
It’s not entirely clear what the robot would do, but those who spoke to Bloomberg speculated it could be an Alexa on wheels, allowing people to bring Amazon’s voice assistant with them around the home. Prototypes of the gadget include advanced cameras and computer vision software to let the robot autonomously move around the home.
It’s worth mentioning that Amazon already offers a portable Echo speaker called the Amazon Tap, which costs about $130 — likely a bit less than a computer vision-enabled roaming robot.
Meanwhile, shares of iRobot, which makes consumer robots including the Roomba vacuum, were down 2 percent pre-market Monday.
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