We regularly tell you about Amazon’s Lab126 Vesta project, a household robot that would give Alexa the ability to move around our homes. A program that has been running for more than four years and which is in its final prototyping phase, causing some employees to fear that its too early marketing will only end in commercial failure…

Vesta project: doubt sets in

According to Business Insider, which revealed the information, Amazon’s Lab126 Vesta project is in the final prototyping stage. A crucial step which precedes the launch of production , but which is not without raising doubts, or at least questions, even within the team responsible for its development.

The American site, which had access to internal company documents, confirms the existence of the name given to the domestic robot. A project bringing together a team of no less than 800 people and which Amazon would have placed as a priority for Lab126 which claims, among other masterpieces, Alexa and Amazon Echo speakers, Fire TV streaming keys, or Kindle digital e-readers… But also the biggest commercial failure of the e-commerce giant, the late Fire Phone.

“People are very skeptical – we fear it will turn into another Fire Phone,” said one of six Amazon employees who agreed to speak to Business Insider on condition of anonymity. Vesta is indeed a risky bet for the company, much more than the development of new connected speakers like the last Echo Show 10 which presents little risk of commercial failure. Here, skepticism is said to rage internally, with relentless launch delays putting teams under pressure and leading to many departures.

Amazon Vesta: a small domestic robot

Named in honor of the Roman goddess of the household, the Vesta program would be directly piloted by Gregg Zehr, the president of Lab126, Jeff Bezos has shown a personal interest in the project, as evidenced by one of his humorous posts on Instagram…

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It must be said that the idea of a domestic robot has something to please, but the prototype would unfortunately not really be what we imagine and far removed from the human-sized robot so hoped for.

Measuring “the size of two little cats” according to Business Insider sources, Vesta would be between 25 and 30 centimeters wide, and would have a touchscreen with several cameras and microphones, two employees interviewed calling it a “mounted Fire tablet. on wheels ” having the ability to move around the house via Alexa voice commands.

A product which, many would fear, would therefore be too limited to arouse real interest from consumers, especially since it would obviously be much more expensive than an Amazon Echo . But, we can only understand them in view of the debauchery of means granted by Amazon on the subject, the managers of the Vesta project do not seem to let go of the case and the device could change positioning to turn into a platform of mobile meeting.

Thus, still according to some people in the team, Vesta could quite simply make it possible to follow a virtual meeting while continuing to move around the house, for example offering teleworkers the possibility of not staying at their desk all day.

It would also be a question of adding plug-ins and other widgets to measure the temperature, humidity or even the air quality of the house. The device should also be equipped with security technology to detect intrusions or fires which is reminiscent of the Alexa Guard functionality . Finally, a small compartment would allow the robot to transport objects and a telescopic camera could be deployed like a periscope to, for example, help the user to find his keys or his wallet.

Like the Ring Always Home security drone unveiled last September, Amazon’s Vesta robot should soon see the light of day and be the subject of a Day One launch by invitation, with initial sales projections being rather low. ‘after Business Insider. Although Amazon spokesmen are unwilling to comment on the information, its production is said to be about to launch in Mexico, as the e-commerce giant has already started to train a technical support team.

Anyway, we will not fail to observe closely the development of this ambitious product which at least has the merit of making us dream a little…