Apple Reportedly Developing Home Robots as Next Big Thing

Apple is reportedly shifting its focus to a new frontier: home robots. According to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Bloomberg, the company is in the early stages of exploring the development of these domestic robots as its potential “next big thing.”

apple robot

Tech Giant Explores New Frontier After Nixing Self-Driving Car Project

The move comes after Apple faced several setbacks in recent months, including the cancellation of its decade-long self-driving car project in February 2024, declining iPhone sales in China, a $1.8 billion fine from the European Union over music streaming rules, and an antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Two Robot Concepts Under Consideration


Bloomberg reports that Apple engineers are currently working on two main robot concepts:

  1. A mobile robot that can follow users around their homes
  2. A more advanced tabletop device that uses robotics to rotate its display

The idea behind the smart display robot is to mimic a person’s head movement, such as reacting during a video call. It would also include a feature that zooms in on a specific person in a crowd during FaceTime sessions. While this device initially caught the attention of senior Apple executives years ago, there has been disagreement over whether to continue with the project.

Robotics Exploration Began in 2019

Apple’s exploration into robotics reportedly began back in 2019 under the leadership of Doug Field, who now serves as an executive at Ford. The project initially focused on things like quiet indoor drones before shifting to domestic products after Field’s departure in 2021.

One concept Apple explored was a robot capable of performing household chores like washing dishes and being used for video calls. However, this idea was shelved due to engineering obstacles.

Potential Groundwork for Home Robots

While it remains unclear whether Apple’s home robots will ever reach consumers, the company appears to have laid some groundwork. At least one engineer who previously worked on the hardware team for the self-driving car project has been moved to the home and robotics division.

Additionally, sources suggest that SafetyOS, the operating system originally intended for the car’s self-driving capabilities, could potentially be repurposed for robots.

Apple’s Pursuit of the “Next Big Thing”

Ever since the creation of the iPhone, Apple has been driven by the pursuit of the “next big thing.” However, matching the success and influence of the iPhone will be no easy feat.

The company’s latest non-robotic launch, the Vision Pro headset, has received mixed reviews despite its $3,500 price tag.

As Apple continues to explore new avenues for growth and innovation, the development of home robots represents a potential opportunity to leverage its expertise in artificial intelligence and establish a stronger foothold in people’s homes.

While the future of these rumored projects remains uncertain, the tech world eagerly awaits further updates on Apple’s foray into the world of domestic robotics.

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