Apple Ventures into Home Robotics After Dumping EV Car Efforts

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Key Takeaways

  • Apple shifts focus to personal robotics for household assistance and immersive video calls, following the cancellation of its electric vehicle project.
  • Early-stage development led by executives within Apple's hardware engineering and AI groups explores mobile and tabletop robotic devices.
  • The move into robotics marks Apple's search for new growth avenues, emphasizing innovation in automated home devices and artificial intelligence.

Apple is reportedly making a major push into personal robotics after it cancelled the electric vehicle production.

The iPhone maker is said to be exploring the development of mobile robots that can assist users with home chores and advanced tabletop devices that utilize robotic technology to tilt a display around.

This new focus on home robotics comes after Apple recently canceled its ambitious electric vehicle project, which had been in development for many years.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that the project is being conducted within the company’s hardware engineering division and AI/machine-learning group, overseen by executives Matt Costello and Brian Lynch. The projects are still in the early stages, and it remains uncertain when they will reach the consumer market.

The mobile bot concept is designed to follow users around their homes to assist with household chores. Meanwhile, the tabletop device aims to replicate a person’s head movements during video calls, allowing for a more immersive experience.

While these projects can be described as ‘daring,’ the engineering challenges involved are significant, and it is unlikely that this home bot will hit the market anytime soon.

Apple’s decision to explore home robotics comes as the company seeks new revenue sources beyond its core iPhone business and digital services. Wall Street Journal recently reported that Apple shares performed poorly in Q1 2024 when fellow big names — Nvidia, Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon — gained.

The robotics projects are part of Apple’s broader efforts to expand its presence in the automated consumer home device industry, leveraging advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. This aligns with the company’s previous statements about its future, which revolve around three key areas: automotive, the home, and mixed reality.

While the specifics of Apple’s robotics plans remain unclear, the company’s foray into this field suggests it is actively searching for the “next game changer” to drive its future growth and innovation.