Foxconn Reportedly Looking To Use Google’s Robots

    February 11, 2014
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google has been acquiring robotics companies with plans to implement robots in manufacturing settings (among other places), and as it turns out, the company has already been working with one well-known manufacturer to do just that.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that since last year, Foxconn, known for making Apple hardware, has been working with Google’s Andy Rubin, who is leading the company’s robot charge. Foxconn reportedly wants to speed up deployment of Google’s efforts (which may include a robot OS) at its factories.

According to the report, Foxconn chairman Terry Gou “expressed excitement over new automation technologies demonstrated by Rubin.”

The New York Times revealed late last year that Goole had acquired seven robotics companies including Schaft, Industrial Perception, Meka, Redwood Robotics, Bot & Dolly, Autofuss (specializing in video production) and Holomni. Here’s a look at some of the technologies produced by these companies.

Later, news came out that Google had also acquired Boston Dynamics, makers of a variety of shiver-inducing robots.

It’s clear that Google possesses the technology and talent to build robots that can reach far beyond the manufacturing space (and into the wall-scaling Terminator space), but it would appear the company isn’t wasting any time in getting some real practical use out of some of these presumably sizable investments.

Image via YouTube

  • Dedee Clancey

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  • smithsson

    the things I see which robots have an advantage are tasks which are:
    1) exact repeatability for thousands or tens of thousands of cycles that difficult for humans. [example: wirebonding in semiconductors]
    2) mind numbing tasks which require high degree of accuracy. [kitting together bill of materials that may be in the hundreds of parts]
    3) use of machines in dangerous environments or hazardous environments. [operations of heavy equipment. chemical processing with volatile materials]

    the things which I see humans excel at:
    1) anticipating unexpected results and compensating
    2) creativity [which by the way, it's also a characteristic trait that helps prevent the exporting of jobs overseas, along with tax issues, limiting government bureaucracy/meddling]
    3) refining processes. certain process improvements that are iterative.