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Foxconn eyes big on robot plan

2014-09-05 07:57 Xinhua Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Taiwan tech giant Foxconn is carrying on with plans to delve into industrial robotics, with the company's second-generation robotic arms under development, said Terry Guo, founder and chairman of the company.

The world's largest contract electronics maker and main supplier to Apple has hoped to free workers from tedious manual labor by ratcheting up automation in production, Guo told Xinhua on Thursday at a conference in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province.

"The robots are not supposed to replace human labor, but are an important means to restructure our labor resources," Guo said. As many Chinese youngsters are shying away from factory work, the use of robots will not only "emancipate" them but also create innovative jobs like robot design and engineering, he added.

With about 1 million workers on the Chinese mainland, Foxconn has struggled with a labor shortage and rising wages in recent years. Its Shanxi plant launched a massive recruitment for 20,000 workers last month to meet orders of next-generation smart phones.

The company in 2010 launched its "robot strategy" that aims to put millions of robots into use. Some of the robotic arms have been put into use, but Guo said they still fell short in terms of proficiency and flexibility.

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