Foxconn, which manufactures hardware for tech giants like Apple, is starting to automate its factories. The firm has welcomed 10,000 of its Tiffany-blue FoxBots, manufactured by Foxconn itself (in its FoxBot-making facility) to its factory in Jincheng. The plan is to have 30,000 in place by the end of 2012, but is the firm thinking of replacing its million-strong workforce in its entirety? Should humans be worried?
The bots, which are capable of precise movements, are expected to be doing lifting and pick-and-place tasks for now. They are thought to have been a response to the unrest in some of the factories over the past 18 months. Boss Terry Gau said last year that he was looking into automating some of the tasks in the factories, and the news may be seized on human rights campaigners with glee. Foxconn’s working conditions, however, are thought to be among the best in China.