Robots may build your next iPhone

Robots may be deployed on the assembly line to put together future iPhones, as per IT World. Last year, CEO of Foxconn Terry Gou had indicated that Foxconn planned to deploy one million robots over the course of three years to participate in the assembly line tasks. The iPhone is put together in numerous Foxconn plants in China. This news comes at the juncture, where these factories have been grabbing headlines often for allegedly mistreating their workers.


However, employing robots is easier said than done. Some experts have cited that the idea to unlikely to materialise. The experts say so after taking into consideration factors such development costs that need to be flexible to meet huge production orders, and do the detailed work well. 


Robots working on the next one?



However, Foxconn has refused to divulge much on the issue, owing to "commercial sensitivity", the report adds. One Foxconn worker on the condition of anonymity revealed that robots were used in the production of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, albeit for basic assembly line tasks. Going further, the worker shared that one type of robot can remove iPhones from 24 testing bays after their Wi-Fi functions have been checked. He added quite implying that the robot may be increasingly replacing manual labour at the factories, "To use a metaphor, it's like 24 bread ovens. When the bread has been baked, the door to the oven opens and the robot removes it and places it back on the assembly line." At the moment, the robots' involvement is only in the "pick and place" scheme of things. An analyst observed that he wasn't sure how robots would be used in assembling the iPhone in the future."Building an iPhone involves hundreds of small steps that are each handled by hundreds of workers along the assembly line," the report quoted him as saying.  


Reports recently highlighted how several students in an east China city were being pushed to work at a Foxconn plant after classes were suspended at the beginning of a fresh semester. The report added that when the factory, run by Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Company failed to get in enough workers to produce the iPhone 5, students from Huai'an in Jiangsu Province were driven in. 


Shockingly, in her statement, a student at the Huaiyin Institute of Technology, majoring in computing revealed that 200 students from her school had been pushed to work at the factory. As per the report, she went on to add that the production work commenced last Thursday, and students were being paid 1,550 yuan (US $243.97) a month for working six days a week.

Published Date: Oct 05, 2012 18:03 PM | Updated Date: Oct 05, 2012 18:03 PM