Amazon.com Inc. may be gearing up for its next big project: a home robot.
The rumor comes from a Bloomberg report published Monday in which sources familiar with the plan revealed that the company has started work on the domestic robot under the codename, Vesta.
According to the sources, Vesta has apparently been in the works for years, but new job listings for Lab126, Amazon’s hardware research and development division, have sprung up this year.
Lab126 engineers previously built Amazon’s Kindle, Fire Phone and Echo.
“People briefed on the plan say the company hopes to begin seeding the robots in employees’ homes by the end of this year, and potentially with consumers as early as 2019,” Bloomberg reported, noting that the timeline may change.
The Vesta robot prototypes reportedly have computer vision software and advanced cameras for navigation. Think of a “mobile Alexa, accompanying customers in parts of their home where they don’t have Echo devices,” Bloomberg analysts wrote.
An Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg the company doesn’t comment on “rumors and speculation.” The AJC has reached out to Amazon for comment as well.
Other companies have dabbled in domestic robots before, including iRobot and its Roomba vacuum and MobileRobots Inc.’s Jeeves home security robot.
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