By Marcus Leach

Electronics manufacturer Foxconn, who provide products to firms such as Apple, have revealed they are set to increase the use of robotic automated equipment in their factories.

The Taiwanese firm are aiming to have 300,000 robots by 2012 according to Chairman Terry Gou.

At present the company has 10,000 robots that carry out basic manufacturing work, and with major labour issues in the past the firm are keen to increase their robot presence.

Issues such as wage disputes and worker suicides prompted the move by the Chairman, although he said he wanted to move current employees higher up the chain, leaving the most basic work to robots.

A statement from Mr Gou explained that the increase in robots was aimed at shifting "workers from more routine tasks to more value-added positions in manufacturing such as research and development, innovation and other areas that are equally important to the success of our operations".

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