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Google and Foxconn partner on robotics, report says

The Taiwanese manufacturer is reportedly helping to carry out Google's "vision for robotics," and in return, Google will help the manufacturer deploy robotics in its factories.


Google and Foxconn may have quietly become bedfellows.

Google's former Android chief and head of robotics, Andy Rubin, is working closely with Foxconn and its Chairman Terry Gou to help carry out the Web giant's "vision for robotics," sources familiar with matter told The Wall Street Journal. But the partnership isn't just for Google's benefit. The Taiwanese manufacturer is looking to speed up robot deployment at its factories, according to the report on Tuesday, and Gou was apparently won over by automation technologies demonstrated by Rubin at a recent meeting in Taipei.

Foxconn is one of the world's largest manufacturers, producing technology equipment for Microsoft, Apple, and countless other companies. It's also been the subject of scrutiny over working conditions.

For its part, Google has only recently made a strong push for robotics, acquiring a slew of companies in the last year to aid in that effort. Rubin, who made his name on Android, is heading up the robotics initiative.

For now, it appears that Google is content to improve robotics on manufacturing and other corporate-focused areas. And given the importance of Foxconn in the technology space, it would only make sense that the companies are working together to some degree. According to the Journal's sources, the combined effort is all about quickening the pace of robotics deployment for both companies.

CNET has contacted Google for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.