Foxconn to build 'an empire of robots'

October 31, 2011: 8:36 AM ET

Broke ground Saturday on a robotics research facility in Taiwan

Image: Honda.com

Here's one way to solve your labor problems.

Hon Hai Precision Industry, the company whose Foxconn division assembles most of the electronic products sold in the U.S. -- including Apple's (AAPL) iPhones and iPads -- broke ground Saturday on a new R&D unit in Taichung, central Taiwan.

"The investment marks the beginning of Hon Hai's bid to build an empire of robots," the Central Taiwan Science Park authorities said in a statement.

The project was unveiled by Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou, who announced last August that he hoped to build 1 million robots to do the "simple work" now being done by Chinese workers.

Foxconn, which has been hit by a cluster of worker suicides in its Chinese assembly plants, plans to replace 500 000 workers with robots over the next three years according to AFP.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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