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May 2014 • The PCB Magazine 11 take the place of dozens of Chinese factory workers. Overall costs may be about the same but will come with far fewer headaches. No need for huge dormitories or cafeterias. No 30% annual employee turnover. No suicides, no underage employee problems. No col- lective bargaining, no wage increases (actu- ally, the cost of automation will continue to decrease). Their customers (Apple) get the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) off their back. In fact, Foxconn is planning to use robots in their mega-factories in China, as well. I'm sure Terry Gou has done the math. An automated factory, wherever he decides to build it, makes good financial sense and will make his life and company stakeholders' lives a lot easier. Partnering with Google to accel - erate this effort was probably an easy decision for him. The growth of robotic systems is accelerat- ing. The capabilities will continue to increase as prices drop. The combination of more ca- pable systems at a much lower cost per func- tion will provide the fuel needed to drive this industry at greater and greater speeds. Google's investment into robotics isn't altru- istic; it's pure capitalism. And what the dozen or so smaller robotics companies could do on their own has now been coalesced and fo- cused into building the robots of the future. In 10 years, this could be Google's biggest business. The potential is certainly there. At least, that's the way I see it. Check out this link to learn more: A Peek Into Google's Plan With Robots. PCB GOOGLEBOTICS continues ray rasmussen is the publisher and chief editor for I-connect007 Publications. He has worked in the industry since 1978 and is the former publisher and chief editor of CircuiTree Magazine. to read past columns, or to contact rasmussen, click here. Has Outsourcing Lost its Luster? Sponsored by: Prototron Circuits moderator steve williams, dan Beaulieu and Joe Fjelstad discuss current trends in outsourcing. CliCk To View I-ConneCt007 Panel DISCuSSIon VIDeo

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