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

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

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
  3. Oohara macrumors 68020


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

  4. Apple Jockey macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2014
  5. pauliaK macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2012
    Banff, AB
    The volumes in which they hire are simply mind blowing
  6. iPhysicist macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    "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. Zxxv macrumors 68030

    Nov 13, 2011
    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. H2SO4 macrumors 68040

    Nov 4, 2008
    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. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    Well, to ... create this scripted drivel ... we analysed the most used words ... and ... using an algorithm produced a simple, unapologetic dialogue ...

  10. darkplanets macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2009
    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. Jimrod macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
    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. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

    Jun 24, 2010
    The Chinese workers are training their replacements. That should give them great moral.
  13. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    As long as a few big shareholders are happy, that's all that really matters.:rolleyes:
  14. rols macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2008
    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. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    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. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    that's allot of money. how will they be better off money wise ?

    Yep.. this will scare the pants of any intruder.
  17. Reason077 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2007
    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. RJCP macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    "Foxconn employees will still be responsible for quality control".

    robots would do a better job...
  19. usersince86 macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2002
    Columbus, Ohio
    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. Alphabetize macrumors 6502


    Oct 6, 2013
  21. Jess13 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2013
    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. jmgregory1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    Chicago and Spooner (when it's not 20 below)
    It's the material the mask is made of.
  23. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    Americans have been doing that for a long time.

    Look where it got us.
  24. Thunderhawks macrumors 601

    Feb 17, 2009
    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. rorger25 macrumors newbie

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

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