Apple's mobile robot, AI-backed table-top device in the works

Apple table-top device might mimic head movements of a person on a FaceTime video call
An undated image displaying Amazons Astro robot. — Amazon
An undated image displaying Amazon's Astro robot. — Amazon

It has been brought to light that Apple is venturing into the realm of robotics, reportedly exploring multiple "personal robotics" projects in a bid to rise with its "next big thing."

Apple's robotics projects

The development has been surfaced by Mark Gurman, a renowned tech journalist and correspondent of Bloomberg. Detailing on the sneakily undergoing Apple development, he described one of the projects to be a "mobile robot" that would "follow users around their homes," while naming another to be an "advanced table-top home device that uses robotics to move a display around."

Citing his sources familiar with the projects, Gurman said, "Engineers at Apple have been exploring a mobile robot that can follow users around their homes. The iPhone maker also has developed an advanced table-top home device that uses robotics to move a display around."

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The iPhone maker is also probing into the use case of AI algorithms which would help robots "navigate cluttered spaces within people's homes," as per Gurman's report.

The Cupertino-based company has apparently been inclined towards making robots capable of handling household chores "like cleaning dishes in a sink," according to Macrumors.

However, what brushes this feature's possibility under the carpet is Gurman's remarks wherein he claimed that chances are scarce of it coming out this decade, owing to "extraordinarily difficult engineering challenges."

Nevertheless, as far as Gurman's reports is concerned, Apple's home robot might compete with Amazon's Astro, an Alexa-equipped household robot capable of monitoring homes, and providing mobile virtual assistance.

Coming to the table-top device, that might "mimic the head movements" of a person on a FaceTime video call. However, Gurman said it has been pretty challenging for Apple to balance "the weight of a robotic motor on a small stand." The development of such a device is also being debated by some Apple executives.

Since these projects are reportedly in the very early stages of research, their availability to the public in future, and even the development, is not in sight.