Goodbye Apple Car, Hello Apple Home Robots

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Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg (Getty Images)

Fresh off dumping its electric vehicles project, Apple appears to be pivoting to something fairly different: household robots. Engineers at the iPhone company have been working on some sort of “personal robotics” device that can cohabitate with you and follow you around, Bloomberg reported Thursday. So, basically a robo-roommate.

This product is reportedly still very much in the research and development phase and it is unclear whether it will ultimately be released. The report states that the company has also developed an “advanced table-top home device that uses robotics to move a display around”—which basically sounds like some sort of “responsive” TV screen. These developments are occurring within Apple’s hardware engineering division, with collaboration from its machine-learning group, according to the report.

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Gizmodo reached out to Apple for comment and will update this story if it responds.

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Unless you count the Roomba, the tech industry has had very little success in cracking the household robotics market. The boldest move was made by Amazon in 2021, when it debuted its underwhelming iPad-on-wheels, Astro, to a fairly muted response. The bot, which is arguably a creepy privacy disaster, did not sell well, and the company has struggled to find a marketable purpose for the product. Last we heard, Amazon was trying to market it as some sort of small business “security guard” which, to say the least, seems dubious.

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Will Apple succeed where Amazon has failed? Only time will tell. They say never bet against Apple, but the company known for its beautiful and captivating product lines has made some notable stumbles in recent years. First, its heady VR product, the Vision Pro, debuted to mixed reviews and now the Apple Car is dead. Should we hold our breath for Apple’s domestic helper or just roll our eyes and patiently wait for the iPhone 16?

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