New report says Foxconn’s robots will play more of a supporting role in factories

Foxconn robot

Earlier this week, word got out that Foxconn is preparing to deploy sophisticated robots to help assemble devices in its factories. The so-called ‘Foxbots’ have been in testing for years now, and CEO Terry Gou says the first units will help manufacture Apple’s iPhones.

Today, a new report is out from Taiwan’s United Daily News that offers up new details on the program. According to the outlet, the robots will play more of a supporting role initially. Foxconn employees will still be responsible for general assembly and quality control…

GforGames (via MacRumors) passes along the report:

However, according to the latest reports coming from China, the “Foxbots” will “only” play a supporting role, at least at first, so they aren’t actual replacements for the company’s current employees.

While the Foxbots will reportedly be used for tasks which don’t require extreme finesse like tightening lock screws, positioning the larger, exterior components in place or for polishing, certain tasks simply can’t be taken over by machines, at least not for now. Humans will still be used for a lot of activities, like quality control or the assembly of those internal hardware components which require extreme precision. 

Foxconn is said to be planning to deploy more than 10,000 robots to its factories, which will cost them in upwards of $250 million. Each Foxbot costs between $20,000 and $25,000 to make, and each one will be capable of assembling an average of 30,000 devices.

Interestingly enough, Foxconn is also said to be on a human hiring spree, looking for a record-breaking 100,000 new employees to help it handle iPhone 6 orders. The handset (or handsets) is expected to be a major hit for Apple when it goes on sale in mid-September.