Yes, Amazon is hiring robotics specialists

3 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger
Amazon's Sunnyvale Facility

Rumors are swirling that Amazon is busy building a robot at its top-secret Lab126 facility. As reported by Bloomberg, the robot project, codenamed "Vesta," is being overseen by Gregg Zehr in Sunnyvale, California.

If that's the case, then Amazon would surely be hiring people for the project.

We took a look at recent Amazon hiring data, and when it comes to positions with the word "Robot" in them, there is a clear rise in open positions as seen in the chart below.

We then looked at openings for the same period with the term "Lab126" in them. As you can see, there was some hiring throughout March and April.

But that would be too easy. Amazon isn't going to include "Lab126" in its job titles for a top-secret project.

Lab126 is in Sunnyvale, California. So we took a look at openings in that area. This is where things get a bit more interesting. Since January 1, 2018, hiring at Amazon's Sunnyvale location has jumped from a low of 342 positions to today's all-time high of 487 - that's an increase of 42%.

Of the 487 openings on April 24, 2018 in Sunnyvale, the most-common position is "Software Deveopment Engineer". In fact, there are 42 such positions.

Title

Title (Count)

Software Development Engineer

42

Software Quality Assurance Engineer

11

Software Development Engineer - Alexa Voice Service

7

Product Design Engineer

6

Quality Assurance Engineer

5

Technical Program Manager

5

Software Engineer - Alexa

5

Software Development Engineer - Alexa Cloud Services

5

Senior Product Design Engineer

4

Software Development Engineer, Alexa Artificial Intelligence

4

Within those openings, however, we noticed a trend - many are not just engineers, but they're Alexa-focused engineers. Rumors are that "Vesta" - the robot in question - will be a robotic version of the digital assistant.

As it turns out, 101 of thoser 487 openings in Sunnyvale contain the word "Alexa" in them. Of those positions, many are Software Development Engineers.

Title

Title (Count)

Software Development Engineer - Alexa Voice Service

7

Software Engineer - Alexa

5

Software Development Engineer - Alexa Cloud Services

5

Software Development Engineer, Alexa Experience and Devices

4

Software Development Engineer, Alexa Artificial Intelligence

4

Software Development Engineer, Alexa Automotive

3

Software Development Engineer, Amazon Alexa

3

Software Development Engineer, Alexa

3

Sr. Technical Program Manager, Alexa

2

Senior Product Manager- Technical, Alexa

2

Quality Assurance Engineer, Alexa Experience & Devices

2

SDE - Alexa Engine

2

Senior Research Engineer, Alexa

2

Manager, Software Development, Alexa Automotive

2

Sr. Field Applications Engineer - Alexa

2

Of course, Amazon does a lot of development in Sunnyvale for Siri - some of it for Automotive integration and for extant products. As such, none of this is 100% corroboration that the company is, indeed, making an Alexa robot.

But something certainly is up there.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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