Worker protests in China and USA are accelerating the next wave of automation #FastFoodStrikes

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 in June 2013.

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 worker salaries 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.

Today in the USA there were protests by fast food workers seeking more than minimum wages for their work.

Momentum Machines unveiled an all in one robot (24 square foot gourmet hamburger factory) which enables a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices. It can make 360 gourmet hamburgers every hour.

It does everything employees can do except better.

The machine takes up 24 square feet but replaces all of the human cooks and kitchen. The restaurant can be smaller and make more revenue per square foot. Most short order restaurants need to pay $135,000 per year for the cooking staff. The robot replaces the people, the kitchen and uses less space.

The Robotic restaurant was described in detail by Marshall Brain in his fictional story Manna.

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