Foxconn, the contractor manufacturer for Apple, HP, Microsoft and many other high-tech companies has suffered from high-profile labor incidents in China – suicides, plant explosions. Its rollout of robots gives it a diversification opportunity but likely also new labor headaches. From Everything-Robotic:
“Foxconn, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision (2317:TW), has begun deploying their own brand of industrial robots to their factory in Jincheng, Shanxi Province, China, according to various reports from China news sources. Shanxi Province is an area where Foxconn is partnering with local governments - spending $16 and $27 million respectively - to build factories and employ 200,000+ local workers. One of those new factories is earmarked to manufacture robots.
The turquoise industrial robot shown above is called a FoxBot and about 10,000 of them have been manufactured and deployed since 2011 into one of the Foxconn factories in Jincheng. Loosely translated from multiple Chinese articles, the FoxBot is described as:
Only can be engaged in some simple and repetitious tasks. Priced at $20,000 to $25,000. There are different versions. Some appear crab-like, others act as lifts, some as pick and place robots. All appear to be capable of precise movements.”