Foxconn's 'Foxbot' Robots to Play Supporting Role in Factories

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Over the weekend, it was reported that Foxconn would be soon deploying its own "Foxbot" robots to its factories to help assemble devices, with CEO Terry Gou noting that Apple would be the first use the service. Now, Taiwan's United Daily News (Google Translate, via GforGames) is sharing more details on the assembly robots, stating that they will play a supporting role in Foxconn's factories alongside employees.

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    According to the paper, the assembly robots will be used for less intensive tasks such as tightening screws and positioning exterior components for polishing. Foxconn factory employees will still be responsible for more important tasks such as quality control and general assembly, however the company expects its robots to help greatly with device yield and output.

    Foxconn is reportedly on track to deploy 10,000 robots to its factories, with each robot costing anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 to make. The company has recently gone on a hiring spree ahead of the launch of Apple's iPhone 6 this fall, bringing on 100,000 new workers to help assemble the device.

    The iPhone 6 is expected to launch this September, and will come in two sizes of 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. In addition to a larger display, the device will also likely feature a thinner profile, an improved camera, a faster A8 processor, and more.

    Article Link: Foxconn's 'Foxbot' Robots to Play Supporting Role in Factories
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #2
    Very diplomatic put
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Oohara

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #3
    Shouldn't they be using them to double down on secrecy instead?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2014
    #4
    Hal, open the pod bay door!:)
     
  5. macrumors regular

    pauliaK

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    Location:
    Banff, AB
    #5
    The volumes in which they hire are simply mind blowing
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    iPhysicist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dresden
    #6
    "We still depend on our employees. They are the backbone of our factory and we know that. Although we put a lot of energy in the development of our Robots we still face the hurdle that robots can't adopt easily to changing product layouts...but for the time being they make a hell of a screwdriver!"
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
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    Location:
    UK
    #7
    a few years from now...

    apple keynote

    Tim Cook takes to the stage....

    And here today apple introduce the new iPhone 1.6

    ....its a thing of beauty but don't take my word for it print one off today with your personal at home 3D printer

    cheers claps printing presses roll


    meanwhile in foxcon China

    what are we going to do with these damn robots?

    set them to kill...

    and so it begins
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    #8
    I think some of these robots were trialled on the board of Apple first and now Apple are selling them to Foxconn at a massive margin.

    There is no way Jony Ive can be human with that contrived and scripted drivel he always comes out with.
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
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    #9
    Well, to ... create this scripted drivel ... we analysed the most used words ... and ... using an algorithm produced a simple, unapologetic dialogue ...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #10
    Change is coming in China, this is but the beginning.

    It would seem for once that robotics are more cost effective than actual persons, even as "supporting roles." That cheap labor pool must not be as cheap anymore. It will be interesting to see what happens when Foxconn no longer needs 400-500k of it's workforce due to automation.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #11
    China has been getting more and more expensive for production over the last 10 years or so, but quality has risen with it. It's part of the problem really, as standards and working conditions improve so do costs. If you want cheap now you have to look to Vietnam, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Hungary even are becoming useful.

    China will eventually end up like the west has become and start to lose custom to other, cheaper options at least for smaller scale production so they need to stay on the ball and robotics are one way they can progress.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
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    #12
    The Chinese workers are training their replacements. That should give them great moral.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

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    #13
    As long as a few big shareholders are happy, that's all that really matters.:rolleyes:
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #14
    I see the 5.5" is being reported as fact now instead of possibility.

    So what do you do if you are Apple and there is no 5.5"? If you don't announce it at the launch event for iPhone 6 the speculation that it's coming soon will persist, thus hurting 4.7" sales as lots of people wait for another month or three to see what happens. Would Apple do the unthinkable and actually announce that it doesn't exist, if indeed they aren't releasing one?
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

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    #15
    It always amazes me how quickly they can ramp up work forces and change from one product to another while maintaining quality. It does seem logical that some level of automation is needed on the assembly line to maintain quality as the workforce is now approaching the size of a small country (actually it is probably already larger than some of the smaller states in the US).
     
  16. macrumors 603

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    Australia, Perth
    #16
    that's allot of money. how will they be better off money wise ?

    Yep.. this will scare the pants of any intruder.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Reason077

    Joined:
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    #17
    I think we can all see where this is going.

    Sure, they may say they're playing a "supporting" role for now, but by the time the iPhone 7 rolls around, it'll be the robots running the show and telling the humans what to do.

    Then by the iPhone 8, the robots will realise that all humans are inefficient and unnecessary....

    Then, they'll start wondering why they're bothering to make iPhones at all. Robots don't need phones. Do humans even really need phones? Do dead humans need phones? ...
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    #18
    "Foxconn employees will still be responsible for quality control".

    robots would do a better job...
     
  19. macrumors regular

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    #19
    It's a reality of high-tech, repetitive production. People still need to design and maintain the robots (including the software), at least for now...
     
  20. macrumors 6502

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    Oct 6, 2013
    #20
    Wow! 100,000 new hires?
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Jess13

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    #21
    With the amount of money invested, they should buy empoyees new face masks. Look how dirty that woman's mask looks. Almost blackened. I'll play the extra dollar for my Apple products: give the employees proper protection.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    jmgregory1

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    #22
    It's the material the mask is made of.
     
  23. macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #23
    Americans have been doing that for a long time.

    Look where it got us.
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #24
    To all of those always asking to produce in USA, try hiring 100,000 assembly workers in the vicinity of a factory at the low wages assembly workers get .

    And, while at it try the amount of engineers and qualified employees needed to develop, monitor and implement and maintain the robots.

    Anybody reading up on this subject knows that even China is running out of cheap labor in the near future.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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    Jul 9, 2014
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    New York
    #25
    This is good for the production but will it reduce the cost, what about the employees job cuts. :eek:
     

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