Tag Archives: china

Chinese Building One Million Strong ‘robot army’

Foxconn to Speed Up ‘robot Army’ Deployment; 20,000 Robots Already in its Factories

Foxconn also looking at the U.S. and Indonesia for expansion

By Michael Kan 
Wed, June 26, 2013
IDG News Service (Beijing Bureau) — Manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group is on track with its goal to a create a “million robot army”, and already has 20,000 robotic machines in its factories, said the company’s CEO Terry Gou on Wednesday.
robot army 0

Workers’ wages in China are rising, and so the company’s research in robots and automation has to catch up, Gou said, while speaking at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in Taipei. “We have over 1 million workers. In the future we will add 1 million robotic workers,” he said. “Our [human] workers will then become technicians and engineers.”

Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics maker and counts Apple, Microsoft and Sony as some of its clients. Many of its largest factories are in China, where the company employs 1.2 million people, but rising Add a comment are threatening to reduce company profits.

To offset labor costs and improve its manufacturing, Foxconn has already spent three years on developing robots, Gou said. These machines are specifically developed to assemble electronics such as mobile phones, but it will take some time for Foxconn to fully develop the technology, he added.

robot army 1

“It’s a middle to long-term goal,” Gou said. But already 20,000 robot arms and robotic tools are in use at the company’s factories.

Robotics have long been used to manufacture cars and large electronics. But currently, human workers are still the best choice to put together small consumer gadgets, many of which contain complicated wiring and small sockets that are best handled with human hands, according to experts.

In addition, Foxconn’s CEO said the company is prepared to expand its manufacturing in the U.S., but the move will depend on “economic factors.” The company already has factories in Indianapolis and Houston, and employs thousands of workers in the country, according to Gou.

Last December, Foxconn customer Apple said it would manufacture one of its Mac lines in the U.S. by the end of next year. Soon after, Foxconn said it was considering growing its existing manufacturing base in the country.

robot army 2

The Taiwanese company is also exploring building factories in Indonesia, a country with significantly lower labor costs than the U.S. or China. One possible plan is for Foxconn to build electronics for the local market, which is home to 240 million people.

“Indonesia has great potential and its a great market for my company,” Gou said. “Definitely we will put a lot of investment in Indonesia.”

The company, however, is waiting for the nation’s government to improve the regulations for its tech sector. Standards over electronics safety are so low that anyone can get away with selling shoddy mobile phones, said a Foxconn official in December.

“The direction is right, but we need to take time,” Gou added. “We think in one or two years this will happen.”

1 Comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

7 record-breaking tunnels

7 record-breaking tunnels from around the world


Published April 04, 2013


Tunnels provide travelers with a quick and easy way to access hard-to-reach destinations, so it’s no surprise that every year cities map out new tunnel designs. But high-tech building materials and advances in design are allowing for engineering feats never seen before.  At higher altitudes, over longer distances, here are seven record-breaking tunnels that are stand alone tourist destinations.

  • 1Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland

    AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd.

    Once completed in 2016, the Gotthard Base Tunnel will be the longest railway tunnel in the world. The 35-mile tunnel cuts under the Swiss Alps at 8,000 feet below sea level and is expected to reduce travel time between Zurich and Milan by about an hour. The building of the tunnel was an arduous feat as eight lives were lost during the process. For an up-close look at the construction, the public can visit a multimedia exhibition for free or take a tour of a construction site along the tunnel.

  • 2Yerba Buena Island Tunnel, California


    To cross over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, drivers must travel through Yerba Buena Island by way of the Yerba Buena Island Tunnel. The tunnel, completed in 1936, remains the largest single-bore tunnel in the world, measuring 76 feet wide and 58 feet high. To accommodate the large amount of traffic that travels across the bridge, the tunnel consists of two decks, each carrying five lanes.

  • 3Lærdal Tunnel, Norway

    Innovation Norway

    Stretching 15 miles long, the Lærdal Tunnel is the longest road tunnel in the world. The tunnel cuts through a mountain range that sits between the cities of Oslo and Bergen, providing a faster and safer route for drivers, especially during the wintertime. To keep drivers alert during the 20-minute underground journey, architects built in three “caves” or resting areas that feature vivid blue and yellow lights.

  • 4Aizhai Extra Large Suspension Bridge, China

    Hunan Government

    This two-way, four-lane bridge is the highest and longest tunnel-to-tunnel suspension bridge in the world. The bridge, built to ease traffic, measures almost 4,000 feet long and crosses over a canyon 1,164 feet deep. It carries the Jishou-Chadong Expressway, which runs through a total of 18 different tunnels.

  • 5Channel Tunnel


    The Channel Tunnel, commonly referred to as the Chunnel, is the world’s longest undersea tunnel. Of its 31 miles, 23 miles are situated beneath the English Channel. The tunnel transports passengers and freight from Folkestone, Kent in England to Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais in France in as little as 30 minutes. As an added bonus, the Le shuttle and Eurostar trains that travel through the tunnel operate 365 days a year.

  • 6Seikan Tunnel, Japan

    Hokkaido Railway Company

    Until the Gotthard Base Tunnel is completed in 2016, the Seikan Tunnel holds the title of the longest operational railway tunnel in the world. Completed in 1988, the tunnel measures 33.5 miles long and links the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. It is located almost 800 feet below sea level (beneath the Tsugaru Strait), making it one of the deepest railway tunnels in the world. Before the installation of the tunnel, ferries carried passengers across the strait, but when a typhoon sank five ferries killing over 1,000 people, Japan honed in on a new means of transportation.

  • 7Fenghuo Mount Tunnel, China


    The Fenghuo Mount Tunnel is the world’s highest railway tunnel, reaching an elevation of 16,093 feet. The tunnel encases part of the scenic Golmud-to-Lhasa route, which is a route on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. The train that travels the railway is nicknamed the “rocket to the rooftop of the world” because 80% of its route is at an elevation above 13,000 feet. To compensate for the lack of oxygen at such an altitude, the train is equipped with two oxygen sources as well as personal oxygen canisters.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

Chinese Knock-off Brands Don’t Even Care Anymore

Reposted from The Chive, via Tapiture

I swear China isn’t even trying anymore (21 Photos)

MARCH 15, 2013 |


1 Comment

Filed under Humor and Observations

600 Year Old Chinese Coin Found In Kenya

Illinois scientists find rare coin in Kenya

Digging History

Published March 13, 2013

Associated Press

  • 600-year-old Chinese coin found in Kenya

    Feb. 8, 2013: A rare, 600-year-old Chinese coin that scientists from Illinois discovered on the Kenyan island of Manda. The museum announced the discovery Wednesday, March 13. (AP Photo/Courtesy The Field Museum, John Weinstein)

CHICAGO –  Scientists from Illinois have found a rare, 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda.

The Field Museum in Chicago announced the find Wednesday. The joint expedition was led by Chapurukha Kusimba of the museum and Sloan Williams of the University of Illinois-Chicago. Researchers say the coin proves trade existed between China and eastern Africa decades before European explorers set sail.

The coin is made of copper and silver. It has a square hole in the center so it could be worn on a belt. Scientists say it was issued by Emperor Yongle of China and his name is written on the coin.

Scientists from Kenya, Pennsylvania and Ohio also participated in the expedition. They also found human remains and other artifacts predating the coin.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/03/13/illinois-scientists-find-rare-coin-in-kenya/?intcmp=obinsite#ixzz2OQNpWSIh

1 Comment

Filed under Humor and Observations