Apple May Make Personal Home Robots After Car Project Stalls Out

Apple robot washing dishes in a sink.
It's been over 60 years since The Jetsons introduced us to Rosey the Robot, a mechanical and artificially intelligent housekeeper on wheels. Now several decades later, full-fledged robot maids are still not a thing, but that could change if Apple decides that in-home robots are the "next big thing" that it's seeking, especially after the Cupertino company parked its EV car plans.

Apple's always in pursuit of the must-have gadget. It struck gold with the iPhone, which is still going strong, and before that it shook up the consumer electronics market with the iPod. The iPad has been pretty good to Apple as well, and more recently, it's made a run into the mixed reality market with the Vision Pro, which the company pitches as its first spatial computer.

Looking ahead, Bloomberg says it head from people familiar with Apple's plans that it's currently looking into personal robotics. Plans are in the very early stages and it doesn't sound like there is a definitive roadmap, as it's more of an exploratory phase at the moment. However, Apple has some ideas of how this could play out.

One of the concepts is a robotic smart display. Apparently this is something that Apple has been mulling for several years, but is unsure if there would be a market for it. Designed for FaceTime, the display would mimic head movements, like nodding. It's essentially a glorified videoconferencing tool that can navigate all on its own.

An Apple robot vacuuming a rug.

Apple has also bigger aspirations for what a personal robot might entail. Another idea—and one that isn't as far along—is a robot than handle mundane chores like washing the dishes. Having an iButler (our name, not Apple's) sounds a whole lot more interesting, though it's also a whole lot more challenging to pull off.

More than just concepts written on a napkin, Apple is actively recruiting workers that can bring its robotic ideas to life. Some of its job listings are for "ML and robotics researchers and engineers" that would be tasked with developing "complex intelligent robotic systems and experiences in the real world."

We'll have to wait and see how Apple's home robotic plans ultimately shape out, if all all. That said, there's a lot of potential, depending on the type of product it runs with, and how well Apple's hardware and AI teams can execute those plans.

AI-generated images created with Copilot and Photoshop