Apple Is Reportedly Exploring AI-Powered Home Robots

In February, Apple decided to abandon one of its ambitious and long-running autonomous electric car projects in the history of the company known as “Project Titan,” after it reached a make-or-break point.

Now, a new report from Apple expert and Bloomberg’s journalist Mark Gurman citing anonymous people familiar with the matter, states that Apple is changing its focus towards a new area of development. The company is exploring various “personal robotics” projects (home robots) to become one of the company’s ever-shifting “next big things.”

Gurman reports that Apple engineers are working on two projects. One includes a “mobile robot” assistant that follows users around their homes, while the other is an “advanced tabletop device” with a robotic arm that can move a display.

“Engineers at Apple have been exploring a mobile robot that can follow users around their homes, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the skunk-works project is private. The iPhone maker also has developed an advanced table-top home device that uses robotics to move a display around, they said,” states Gurman in his report.

The idea behind the tabletop device is to have a machine that can focus and imitate the head movements of a single person on a group video call, probably for a better video call experience. With plans for these robots to move on their own, Apple is also exploring the use of algorithms for navigation that would help them move around cluttered spaces within people’s homes.

While Apple wants to create robots that can “handle chores, like cleaning dishes in a sink,” Gurman said this act is unlikely achievable this decade due to “extraordinarily difficult engineering challenges.”

According to the report, Apple’s hardware engineering division, AI team, and machine learning group are overseeing the work on personal robotics. The company is also looking to hire new people for robotics-related positions and has started advertising that reads, “Our team works at the intersection of modern machine learning and robotics to shape the AI that will power the next generation of Apple products.”

Currently, the robotics projects are said to be in the very early stages of research and development, and it’s unclear if any of them will make it to consumer markets in the future.

Apple is not the first major tech company to explore the idea of a robotic home assistant. For instance, Amazon announced its Astro home robot in 2021 for $1,599.99, which is designed for home monitoring with Alexa. However, it is available in limited quantities on an invite-only basis.

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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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