Foxconn installs 10,000 robots at China factory
Machinery expected to supplant workforce; 20,000 more to be in place by year-end
Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn has installed 10,000 robots in one of its Chinese factories and 20,000 more are to be in place by the end of the year, Singularity HUB reported.
Given that the robots are capable of lifting, selection and placing tasks each will likely take the place of an assembly line worker. The cost of each machine is between $20,000 and $30,000, according to Singularity HUB.
Foxconn's core business is the contracted manufacture of electronics products for customers that include Microsoft, Amazon and Apple.
The so-called "Foxbots" are thought to be the first stage in the fulfillment of company president Terry Gou's pledge last year to replace one million factory workers with one million robots. Gou's announcement came in the midst off a series of reports of labour problems within Foxconn factories that included stoppages, riots and suicides.
Apple was singled out for rebuke in a New York Times article that alleged a sluggish response from Cupertino when the working conditions came to light. Slight pay increases and gestures of placation on the part of Foxconn may be attributable to upcoming audits of its factories.