Foxconn, Apple’s largest partner responsible for assembling iPhone, iPad, and iPod lines, may soon be replacing many of its humanoid workforce with Robots. The company is looking to expand its current showing of 10,000 robots to over 1 million in a move set to decrease suicide rates at the plant by at least half.
Robots will likely fill in performing simple jobs such as welding and assembling to begin with and move on to more complex jobs as time goes on.
Engadget has suggested in the past that the FRIDA Humanoid Robot may be a suitable human replacement bot for Foxconn’s workforce, though this is far from a concrete fact to date.
The FRIDA robot was originally designed to fit into spaces designed to fit human workers. This prevents companies from having to overhaul their current plants. This makes robot supplementation incredibly cost effective.
FRIDA is capable of handling a nearly infinite number of tasks, some of which require the softest of touch.
Foxconn, headquartered in Taiwan, has been all over the news in the last few years due to allegations of employee mistreatment and on campus suicides. This came as a shock to western consumers as Foxconn holds contracts with the largest tech companies in existence, including Apple, Acer, Microsoft and Sony Ericsson.
The company obviously considers dealing with humans to be entirely too exhausting, and with all of the bad press, we aren’t surprised, but I think they’d be surprised what they can do with a little bit of HR counseling and maybe some free iPads as worker incentives!