The tech giant is reportedly exploring the development of ‘home robots’ as its latest project

According to Business Insider, tech giant Apple is shifting its focus towards a new area of development.

The pivot comes after a difficult period for Apple, with the company scrapping its plans to develop a self-driving car, which it had been working on for years.

Apple has also been hit by an antitrust lawsuit from the Department of Justice.

The lawsuit from the DOJ includes allegations that the company took measures which would limit user functionality outside of its platforms, effectively compelling users to purchase Apple products.

That’s not it either, with the company also seeing a drop in iPhone sales in China, and a $1.8 billion fine from the EU for breaking rules over music streaming.

Now, the company is looking to move in a new direction and explore new ideas.

Apple is in search of something new.

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This has included shifting its focus to AI development as its competitors at Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI all forge ahead in the field.

But another possibility is looking into robotics, which it reportedly started investigating back in 2019.

Doug Field, who is now an executive at Ford, led the project which was exploring things like quiet drones which could be used indoors.

Following Field’s departure from the company in 2021, Apple’s robotics division concentrated more on domestic products, according to Bloomberg.

To be clear, however, this is still in a largely theoretical stage of development and it’s not clear whether any domestic devices produced by Apple will make it as far consumer markets.

Nonetheless there are signs that the company is pivoting towards this.

Sources have claimed that the operating system for the would-be self-driving car, namely SafetyOS, may be repurposed for robots.

Could robotics be Apple's next big thing?

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Bloomberg has also reported that at least one engineer who previously worked on the ill-fated car project has been redeployed to the robotics division.

As for home robotics themselves, they are not a new area of development.

Look to things like the automatic hoover the Roomba for example.

It’s not clear exactly what Apple’s home robotics developments might turn out. One source told Bloomberg that one project involves a ‘mobile robot’, which follows users round their homes.

Another rumour is of an advanced tabletop device which can use robotics to move a display.

Whatever it is, Apple is driven by pursuit of the ‘next big thing’ ever since the creation of the iPhone, though matching the success and influence of the iPhone will be no mean feat.

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