Following a rash of suicides and criticism of factory working conditions, the Taiwanese hardware maker announced the move last year, saying it was designed to improve efficiency and combat rising labor costs.
Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing giant frequently criticized for poor working conditions, has reportedly begun replacing its factory workers with robots.
After a rash of worker suicides at Foxconn factories in China, the manufacturer of hardware for Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Sony announced its intention last year to replace some of its workers with robots. Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company, told employees at a dance in July 2011 that the move was designed to improve efficiency and combat rising labor costs.
The first batch of 10,000 robots — nicknamed “Foxbots” — have arrived in at least one Foxconn factory, with another 20,000 due by the end of the year, according to a Singularity Hub post. The robots cost between $20,000 and $25,000 apiece to produce — about three times the average annual salary of Foxconn’s factory workers, according to a report on the Chinese Web site TechWeb.
CNET has contacted Foxconn for comment and will update this report when we learn more