Foxconn looks to use robots to replace a million human workers

Foxconn has been making a bunch of Apple gear for a long time now. The company has hoards of workers in China that build iPhones, iPads, and a bunch of other gear for Apple, Sony, and Nokia in what is often alleged to be harsh conditions. The company was besieged at one point by a rash of workers jumping from the building to their deaths. The company has also had problems with leaks of new products ahead of launch.

Foxconn has apparently decided that people are too much trouble so it is looking to replace some of the human workers with robots. The number of robots is impressive to say the least. Foxconn is eyeing a million robots in its factories in the next three years. Foxconn says that the move is to cut the rising labor expense and improve the efficiency of the production line.

The robots will be used to do simple tasks like spraying, welding, and assembling that are currently performed by humans. Right now the company has 10,000 robots in place and plans to increase that to 300,000 next year and a million within the next three years. The news of the increase in robots in the plants comes from Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou. Considering Foxconn has about 1.2 million workers today it sounds like the robots might replace a very large number of those workers. Foxconn recently lost the contract for the iPad 3 to Pegatron, one of its main competitors.

[via Xinhuanet]