Apple Moves into Home Robotics as Next Frontier After Car Project Fizzles

Apple is exploring personal robots as a potential new growth area after canceling its electric car project earlier this year.

bloomberg report Apple has set up a team to explore a move into personal robots, with engineers working on a mobile robot that could follow users around their homes, according to people familiar with the situation. The tech giant has also developed an advanced tabletop home device that uses robotics to move the display.

Robotics research is conducted within Apple’s hardware engineering division and the AI ​​and machine learning group, led by John Gianandrea. Two executives specializing in consumer products, Matt Costello and Brian Lynch, are overseeing hardware development. However, the company has not yet fully committed to either project, and the work is still considered to be in the early research stages.

Tim Cook speaks in China (NG HAN GUAN /Getty)

Apple’s pursuit of the “next big thing” has been a challenge dating back to the Steve Jobs era, making it increasingly difficult to envision a product that could match the success of the iPhone, which accounted for 52% of the company’s $383.3 billion in sales. This is because it is. last year. The company is under increasing pressure to find new revenue streams, especially after canceling its electric vehicle project in February and with mixed reality goggles expected to take several years to become a major revenue source. There is.

The robotics effort originally began around 2019 within Apple’s Automotive Titan project, which was led by Doug Field, now Ford Motor Co.’s top EV executive. Mr. Field named a series of executives to work on robotics efforts from near-silent indoor drones. household robot. The group included Lynch, Nick Sims (former Google Home product manager), and Dave Scott (who left Apple in 2021 and then returned in 2022 to work on Vision Pro).

Apple reportedly has a secret facility resembling the inside of a residential building near its Cupertino, Calif., campus where it can test future home devices and initiatives. The company is also exploring other ideas for the smart home market, including a new home hub device with an iPad-like display.

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Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News, covering free speech and online censorship issues.