Amazon's Alexa software is baked into more than a few of its own products and even a fair number of third-party products too, but most or all of these are either speakers, TVs or TV boxes, or accessories for smartphones. Amazon is now rumored to be venturing into the realm of robots and is said to have an Alexa-powered robot in the works which will come with wheels so it can roll around the house.
This isn't the first time that Amazon's home robot has been mentioned. Codenamed Vesta according to much earlier rumors, the robot was first reported on back in April of 2018 and at the time there was little known about it other than it was supposed to act as a virtual assistant of sorts in areas of the house where Alexa speakers either weren't available or couldn't hear the owner.
Today's new details allege that it will come with Alexa baked in just as all of Amazon's other hardware products do so it can more easily fill the void left by an Echo or Echo Dot in certain parts of the home. The robot is being built by Amazon's Lab126 research and development team in Sunnyvale, California, the same portion of the company that is working on Amazon's rumored new version of the Echo that will be equipped with more high-quality audio components.
The Alexa-powered Vesta robot will reportedly come up to your waist, though that should also be looked at in regards to the average height of most people as there are some who would obviously be quite a bit taller. With the wheels being the robot's physical way of moving around to assist with tasks and help the owner accomplish them, it would also need a way to see where it's going.
To that end it's reported that the robot will be equipped with a number of computer-vision cameras for its eyes, which can then relay what it sees to the computerized brain and send any necessary movement details to the wheels. With Alexa on board the machine you should be able to use your voice to activate and otherwise call the robot to your side.
In fact the report also mentions that this is how the robot was called in a demonstration at the offices internally. How advanced voice-activated movement will be when and if it reaches the market for consumers is unknown, but chances are for it to be a functional home automation item that consumers will actually want to spend the kind of money that it will cost to acquire it, Amazon will likely need to make any of the robot's moving parts capable of interacting with owners through voice by way of Alexa.
There's still no word on when Amazon might actually release this robot, if it actually releases it. The company is said to have had plan to announce it in 2019 but decided not to because it wasn't ready for mass production, which means that the announcement was pushed back the same thing could happen again until Amazon feels that it's more ready for the public eye.