the robots are coming
Some Assembly Required
Three years after announcing its intentions to staff its factories with robots, Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that manufactures Apple products, might finally be putting its plans into action.
The Foxconn robots — or Foxbots, as the company’s calling them — are now in the final stages of testing, and will be used to assemble iPhone products, Foxconn executive Terry Gou reportedly said at a recent shareholder meeting. That means the Foxbots’ assignments will probably include the iPhone 6, rumored to be coming out this fall.
Each year, smarter, more efficient robots join assembly lines and put skilled mechanics out of a job. But BMW is helping its workers fight back, and has started 3D printing physical enhancements for its factory workers so they can break the rising tide of the machine takeover.
BMW has started custom-designing and 3D printing thumb carapaces to protect workers from the strain of their labor. To develop the super-thumbs, the team at the BMW manufacturing plant in Munich teamed up with the Technical University of Munich’s Ergonomics Department to use 3D printing — which BMW calls the “talk of the town” — to solve the problem of thumb strain.