Not content to just live on your countertops, Amazon now wants to become part of the family by building real-life Rosie the Robots to come live with you (and presumably collect limitless focus group data and other info on not just your purchases, but your every domestic move).
"Vesta" is the latest product to be dreamed up by Amazon's Lab126 division, the research & development arm of the retail giant that's based in Silicon Valley and responsible for past Amazon innovations such as the Echo, Alexa, Kindle, and the Amazon Fire line of tablets, TV adapters, and phones.
It's unclear what tasks an Amazon robot might perform. People familiar with the project speculate that the Vesta robot could be a sort of mobile Alexa, accompanying customers in parts of their home where they don't have Echo devices. Prototypes of the robots have advanced cameras and computer vision software and can navigate through homes like a self-driving car.
While we've featured several Rosie the Robot Maid-like smart home appliances recently, like this robot fridge that comes when called and this sensor that calls you if anything is smoking or leaking, Amazon's Vesta is the first truly Jetson's-esque product that delivers on a futuristic vision of smart-adapted domestic home life — complete with digital companionship — in an industry that has been playing with the idea and introducing prototypes since at least 1983.
Bloomberg reports that the consumer robot market will be worth about $15 billion a year by 2023, according to an estimate from Research and Markets, which would be up from about $5.4 billion this year.