Foxconn has been planning to buy 1 million robots to replace human workers and it looks like that change, albeit gradual, is about to start.
The company is allegedly paying $25,000 per robot – about three times a worker’s average salary – and they will replace humans in assembly tasks. The plans have been in place for a while – I spoke to Foxconn reps about this a year ago – and it makes perfect sense. Humans are messy, they want more money, and having a half-a-million of them in one factory is a recipe for unrest. But what happens after the halls are clear of careful young men and women and instead full of whirring robots? What happens to China’s “burgeoning” economy?
The original story is short on details but it seems that the robots will work alongside employees and not replace them outright – although some crowding could occur.
I’ll be asking around at Foxconn in regards to how many workers will actually be replaced, but it looks like those 1 million workers may be soon replaced by 1 million automatons.