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Big tech is throwing money and talent at robots for the home


Prompts on how to use Amazon's Alexa personal assistant are seen as a WiFi-equipped Roomba begins cleaning a room. Amazon intends to roll out test versions of its robots into controlled environments and employee homes by the end of this year, and then plans a second wider, but still controlled, test as early as 2019, people familiar with the efforts said. — Reuters

Prompts on how to use Amazon's Alexa personal assistant are seen as a WiFi-equipped Roomba begins cleaning a room. Amazon intends to roll out test versions of its robots into controlled environments and employee homes by the end of this year, and then plans a second wider, but still controlled, test as early as 2019, people familiar with the efforts said. — Reuters

Science fiction writers and technologists have been predicting the arrival of robot butlers for the better part of a century. So far domestic robots have been relatively pedestrian: robot dogs, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers. Rosie of The Jetsons fame? Not so much. 

That may be about to change. Behind the scenes, big tech companies are funding secret projects to develop robots. Amazon.com Inc has been working on a robot version of its Echo voice-activated speaker for a while now and this year began throwing more money and people at the effort. Alphabet Inc is also working on robots, and smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Inc is building a model for the Chinese market that will teach kids to speak English. 

Amazon , Alexa , robots , Roomba , Temi , Kiva , Vesta

   

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