Samsung aims to build bots who work for less than Foxconn staffers

Samsung is taking aim at manufacturing costs with a new investment in robots. They aim to make robots cheaper to operate even in jobs that currently need flexible human fingers. South Korea’s Ministry of Trade has a US$14.8 million effort to help Samsung develop bots capable of tricky tasks.
The Ministry and Samsung are bold as brass about their aim: with wages rising in China, the pair reckon better ‘bots could undercut the cost of the human workers who today build devices like smartphones. If the plan works, South Korea stands to pick up business operating and/or supplying factories to do the jobs that today require plenty of workers in China and other developing nations.
Big contract manufacturers are very cost-sensitive, so anything that reduces their outgoings will be welcome. Or maybe not: China’s rise has been helped by the many millions of people who have been able to win decently-paying semi-skilled jobs. China knows manufacturing isn’t its long-term ticket to prosperity, but will also hope these bots don’t arrive in a hurry. So will the likes of India and Indonesia, who are trying hard to bring electronics manufacturing to their shores.