Google lends its robot expertise to help boost Foxconn's assembly lines

Matt Brian
M. Brian|02.11.14

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As the world's biggest electronics manufacturer, Foxconn has often been there to help Google. It provides the nuts and bolts for Glass, after all. However, a new report suggests Google's continued investment in robotics has put it in a position to give something back, using its own technology to better automate Foxconn's assembly robots. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google's Andy Rubin, the man who once led Android and now directs Mountain View's robotics efforts, recently met with Foxconn chairman Terry Gou to help "speed up robot deployment" at Hon Hai factories, with a view to integrating one of Google's own engineering companies later down the line. Google, of course, acquired BigDog-maker Boston Dynamics late last year, snatching up an additional seven technology companies to help it realize its robotic dreams. As it stands, Google and Foxconn's partnership will initially focus on improving the efficiency of the Taiwanese company's robot workforce, as it looks to mitigate against rising labor costs and improve production yields. Google is also tipped to turn its robots loose on Amazon, with Jeff Bezos' retail business reportedly fixed firmly in its crosshairs.

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