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Apple Investigates Personal Robotics for Potential Home Applications

Apple Inc. is reportedly exploring the development of personal robots for domestic use, according to a Bloomberg report by technology columnist Mark Gurman. This investigation into robotics follows the company’s decision to discontinue its electric vehicle (EV) project.

Gurman suggests that Apple began researching both EVs and robots concurrently, aiming to develop a machine capable of independent operation. While these robotic projects are in their nascent stages, Bloomberg’s report indicates that Apple has already begun designing a mobile robot that can navigate a user’s home environment and a stationary device equipped with a robotically-controlled display. This display unit might potentially mimic human head movements and focus on a single participant during video conferencing for an enhanced experience.

The successful navigation of these robots necessitates the development of sophisticated algorithms, and Apple is actively pursuing solutions in this area. The report further suggests that Apple’s Home Devices Group is spearheading this robotics initiative, with at least one engineer transitioning from the abandoned EV project to the robotics team.

However, unlike its ubiquitous smartphones, personal robots may not be a universally essential technology for consumers. Apple reportedly expresses concern regarding consumer willingness to pay a premium price for these proposed robots. Internally, there is ongoing debate on the merits of continuing development.

Gurman previously reported that a potential market price for the Apple Car could have reached $100,000, suggesting a greater revenue-generating possibility. With the EV project tabled, Apple reportedly redirects its focus towards the Vision Pro and novel home products, including a home hub featuring an iPad-like display.

The possibility remains that Apple may ultimately abandon these endeavors, opting to invest in alternative product categories with a stronger projected financial return.

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