While automation has taken hold in factories for cars and other products, the company’s chief executive, Amar Hanspal, said machines have eluded electronics assemblers because they can take months to program and electronics designs change too quickly.
The microfactories consist of pods about the size of a large refrigerator and contain sensors, robotics and software. The machines learn how to handle tasks now handled by humans such as inserting delicate memory or processors chips onto circuit boards.
Founded by Autodesk and Flex veterans, the San Francisco-based startup raised $179 million last year and now has 400 employees.
Hanspal, formerly co-CEO of Autodesk, told Reuters the company has been working with about 20 different brands in more than two dozen locations in Mexico, China, India, Hungary, Romania and the US.