Foxconn Sign

Google, Foxconn Reportedly Team Up to Tackle Automated Manufacturing

February 11, 2014 - Written By Eric Abent

Foxconn has worked with a number of big names in the consumer electronics space, but today, we’re hearing that the sometimes controversial manufacturer is working with Google in an effort to develop robots that could help automate its business. Foxconn has been looking to automate the production of electronics for some time now, and according to the anonymous sources The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog spoke to, it apparently thinks Google can help it out in that area.

The report claims that Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou recently met with Google’s Andy Rubin to talk robotics, and that these talks have exciting implications for both companies. Gou’s desire to add more automation into its business model jibes well with Google’s desire to expand its work in the robotics field, with analysts telling Digits that a deal between the two could be beneficial for both. If Foxconn were to partner with Google for robotics, Google now has a large-scale testing ground to try out things like a robotic operating system, which the company is said to be developing.

Of course, this would also mean that Gou gets the automation he’s been pushing for, which would not only help Foxconn improve its device manufacturing business but could also allow it to expand and begin making things like medical equipment. It seems like a win-win for these two giants, so all-in-all, this report isn’t exactly hard to believe. That being said, it’s probably a good idea to take it with a grain of salt until one of the companies confirms a team up, and with the report saying the two have been “quietly meeting,” that official confirmation may never actually arrive. Still, if it turns out to be true, it means that Google has been involved in a lot of activities lately. Aside from Android, Google has been working on getting Glass ready for prime time. Just the other day we heard that LG may be supplying parts for Google’s smart cars, and now we’ve heard that it might be pairing with Foxconn to tackle robotics. This foray into robotics ultimately helps the big G’s smart car initiative as well, since self-driving cars are going to need a significant amount of automation under the hood. Hopefully we’ll be hearing more about this interesting development soon, so stay tuned.