Try to wrap your mind around this one:
Google is working with Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn to develop robots to automate manufacturing processes, so Foxconn doesn’t have to employ so many humans.
If Google is successful, it will be eliminating manufacturing jobs in China and Taiwan. Wages for manufacturing are on the rise in China, and Foxconn is looking to save money.
Foxconn is most famous for making Apple’s iPhones in China, though it manufactures lots of other stuff. So, in the long run, Google is helping develop new technology that could lead to a more efficient way to make iPhones.
The news of Google partnering with Foxconn comes from Lorraine Luk at the Wall Street Journal. Luk is a good reporter, who is plugged into the electronics supply chain in Asia.
Andy Rubin, who led Android for Google, has been meeting with Terry Gou, the chief in charge of Foxconn, for over a year. Rubin stopped working on Android a year ago. He’s now leading a robotics group at Google.
Luk, citing analysts, says Rubin is trying to develop a robotics operating system for manufacturing just like Android was a mobile operating system for phone makers.
Foxconn has looked at doing its own robotics, but working with Google would speed up the process, says Luk.