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One of Foxconn's new robots  (Source: singularityhub.com)
The electronics manufacturer will receive another 20,000 robots before the end of 2012

Foxconn plans to replace 1 million of its human factory workers in China with robots, and the first 10,000 have already been installed.

At least one Foxconn factory in China has received 10,000 robots for the purpose of replacing human workers. These robots, which were manufactured in house and are called "Foxbots," are capable of doing simple tasks like lifting, making selections and placing items where they belong. They will act much like assembly line robots.

According to Singularity HUB, each robot costs about $20,000-$25,000.

Last year, Foxconn President Terry Gou said he wanted to replace 1 million factory workers in China with 1 million robots. This was likely due to the number of problems Foxconn has had with human employees over the years. 

The company came under fire earlier this year when The New York Times published a massive article on the working conditions of Foxconn factories. Apple was also targeted because the report mentioned Apple's lack of action when receiving reports on these poor working environments and overtime/pay issues.

Foxconn gave employees a pay boost earlier this year and is cleaning its act up slowly but surely to comply with audits. 

But it seems Foxconn just doesn't want to deal with human employees at all anymore. While it will take a long time to replace all 1 million workers with 1 million robots, the electronics manufacturer will receive another 20,000 robots before the end of 2012 -- bringing its total to 30,000 for the year. Foxconn hopes to continue increasing this number over the coming years. 

Source: Singularity HUB



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By Ringold on 11/15/2012 2:10:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We should have been the ones to retrofit our factories with robots. Now it's happening at Foxconn instead.


Actually, we did. US manufacturing didn't peak when people think it did, in the 70s. I don't think we've got to pre-recession highs again yet, but we're way, way above where we were back then. We've simply done a lot more with vastly fewer workers.

It's also hidden from public sight a bit because the value has come from fewer consumer-facing things. As a country, we did what we were supposed to in theory, we moved up the value chain. I mean, GE's hot new product is a massive, highly efficient, more quickly starting and stopping gas turbine. Easier, therefore, to integrate in to a grid with finnicky solar that produces on minute and doesnt the next when clouds roll in. Millions of dollars each, but not something we find at WalMart. MRI's. Defense equipment like radars. Surgical robots. US manufacturing is sorta in the shadows, but its as large dollar wise as it ever has been.


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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