A generated image of a toy-like Apple robot

Apple’s next big thing could be a home robot

An Apple robotics division has risen from the ashes of the Apple Car and wants to build an autonomous robot companion for your home.

The Apple Car may not have panned out, but research into autonomous systems and robotics may have opened the door to Apple’s next project. No, it’s not a robot vacuum, but something more advanced for your desk or home.

According to employees familiar with the matter speaking to Bloomberg, robotics work is happening under Apple’s hardware engineering division and AI group. AI head John Giannandrea and home product executives Matt Costello and Brian Lynch oversee the project.

Apple had wanted to focus on automotive, the home, and spatial computing, but with Apple Car canceled, work has shifted to the home. The robotics team has two projects underway, but neither has been greenlit to become actual products yet.

One is a robotic monitor arm that can follow the user or react to certain on-screen situations. For example, the monitor might nod when a person in a chat is nodding.

The other is a more ambitious project where a robot would follow the user around the home. It isn’t clear what function it would serve today, but the moonshot is to perform simple chores or commands.

Companies like Amazon have shown some interest in the home robotics space. So far, consumer products have taken the form of camera drones and little robots on wheels with digital faces that can act as security.

Both projects rely heavily on Apple’s push into artificial intelligence. Autonomous systems and the Apple Car’s rumored safetyOS could apply to robots.

Of course, Apple’s internal labs work on many projects that never see the light of day. Robots may be interesting to some, but there’s not much utility in the technology available today beyond mopping floors.

However, Apple does love entering a field it gets to disrupt. Perhaps an Apple robot could do something others cannot.

[ For more curated Apple news, check out the main news page here]

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