Sunday, June 9, 2024

Apple's Robot Project (AAPL)

From The Verge, June 9:

Apple’s next nebulous idea: smart home robots 
Apple’s next big project could be harder than building a car — making a smart AI robot that can figure out how to navigate my house.

Humanoid robots are one of those dreams that sometimes feel like we’re on the precipice of realizing. Boston Dynamics has its Atlas robot, and Tesla is pursuing robotics, while companies like Mercedes, Amazon, and BMW are or will be testing robots for industrial use. But those are all very expensive robots performing tasks in controlled environments. In the home, they might still be far off.

Enter Apple. Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has said its robotics projects are under the purview of former Google employee John Giannandrea, who has been in charge of Siri and, for a time, the Apple Car. With the car project canceled, Vision Pro launched, and “Apple Intelligence” around the corner, is that the next big thing?

According to his information, any humanoid Apple robot is at least a decade away. Still, simpler ideas may be closer — a smaller robot that might follow you around or another idea involving a large iPad display on a robotic arm that emotes along with the caller on the other end with head nods and the like.

Many, if not most, homes are dens 
of robot-confounding chaos.

A mobile robot is tricky, though; what in the world would Apple do with a home robot that follows me around? Will it play music? Will it have wheels, or will it walk? Will I be expected to talk to AJAX or SiriGPT or whatever the company names its chatbot? Or, given Apple’s rumored OpenAI deal, some other chatbot?

For that matter, what form will it take? Will it fly? Will it have wheels? Will it be a ball? Can I kick it?....


Kick it? Possibly related, 2013's "The Ethics of Torturing Robots".