Tim Cook.
Tim Cook.

Forget the Apple Car: the next big thing for Apple could be in the world of home robots.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is working on a robot that will follow users around their homes and help with little tasks. It sounds a bit like the Amazon Astro, which we've seen shown off at a few different events over the last few years.

If Apple is actually working on such a product, it could be an arms race to see which company can hit the market with its robot first. Amazon clearly has a considerable head start, as it's already started showing off its product while Apple's offering is still in its early stages. It's so early, in fact, that it might not suffer a fate similar to that of the company's electric car and never see the light of day.

And it's not just Apple and Amazon, as a startup called Figure is working on giving ChatGPT a body that can even hand you a glass of water. It's clear that robotics is going to be the next big thing, but whether it'll be Apple's next big thing remains to be seen.

Of course, first isn't everything. It'll also come down to who can do it better, as an expensive product like a personal assistant robot will need to be done well.

Apple is also reportedly working on an advanced tabletop device that uses robotics to move a display around, further pushing the company into the smart home and robotics space.

Amazon Astro
Amazon Astro

According to the report, Apple's robotics development is happening within Apple's hardware engineering division and its AI and machine-learning group. Matt Costello and Brian Lynch, executives currently working on Apple's home products, are said to be working on the project.

Apple declined to comment on the project, which isn't entirely surprising, as the company would want to make a splash by announcing its jump into home robotics with a significant event, as it typically does.

According to the Bloomberg report, "the original concept for the robot was a device that could navigate entirely on its own without human intervention — like the car — and serve as a videoconferencing tool." Apple is apparently also exploring the ability for robots to handle chores like cleaning dishes, but that could be a decade away.

This all comes hot on the heels of Apple showing off the mixed-reality Vision Pro headset. It's clear the company isn't content with releasing iPhones, iPads, and Macs for the foreseeable future, so a jump into home robotics makes a lot of sense for the firm.

The company has been seeking the "next big thing" since Steve Jobs was in charge of the firm, and home robotics could be just that. Or it could be something people deem too weird to keep in their homes. Only time will tell.

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