ALEXA COULD soon escape the confines of a small cylinder as Amazon looks to robot assistants.
A report by Bloomberg suggests that we could see an Alexa robot in homes in time for Christmas this year, whilst early prototypes are already out there. Full availability is likely early in 2019.
The development is said to be codenamed "Vesta", presumably after the patron saint of freeze-dried curries* and is being run by Gregg Zehr, who heads up the company's Lab126 research division.
Clues to the upcoming project aren't that hard to find. Lab126 went on a robotics expert hiring spree last year with job titles like "Sensors Engineer" and "Senior Robotics Engineer" being advertised under the Lab126 name, to divert attention from Amazon as the parent.
So what exactly will an Amazon robot do? Although we are a bit closer to robots that can do chores for us, for the most part, they're simply not dextrous enough, and so realistically, an Amazon robot would probably be little more than an Amazon Echo on wheels.
They would have \computer vision' and would learn the layout of a home, much like a robot vacuum cleaner.
And this of course
Amazon said it doesn't comment on "rumours and speculation". As such we can't confirm that there project will even come to anything, leave alone if those timescales will stand, but the very fact the company is thinking in those terms is kind of a big deal.
Amazon has been working on robots for some time but these tend to be aimed more towards fulfilment within warehouses, rather than the whole plastic pal malarky.
Oh and of course amusing the over-rich wants of Bezos.
Despite being a dream of sci-fi writers for decades, the reality of this, whatever it turns out to me, is likely to underwhelming. µ
*Do your research, Merriman - Vesta is the Roman God of ‘hearth and home'.
The week in Google
The scandal that just keeps giving
Clip to the end....