Google recently began collecting robotics companies; with Boston Dynamics being the most prominent acquisition. The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Andy Rubin, the head of Google’s new robotics division, has been meeting with Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou about deploying new technologies.
It appears that Google may be building a “robotic operating system for manufacturers”; and using Foxconn as a testbed. Foxconn has mostly been making news due to the poor working conditions of workers, and this news may indicate that it is preparing to replace people with machines.
The Journal notes that Foxconn has been striving to accelerate automation efforts amid challenges of rising labor costs and workplace disputes in China, where it has more than a million workers. Gou has not made it a secret that he intends to transform the company into a high tech manufacturer focusing on high margin, capital intensive products.