Facebook’s opens ‘Area 404’ hardware lab within its Menlo Park headquarters
On Wednesday, social network Facebook opened its new, dedicated hardware laboratory - the 'Area 404' hardware lab - within its headquarters at Menlo Park, California.
The 'Area 404' hardware lab is a 22,000-square-foot laboratory at which Facebook plans to prototype and test its gadgets and gizmos, including its Internet-beaming lasers, solar drones, virtual reality (VR) headsets, and next-generation servers.
The equipment installed by Facebook at the 'Area 404' hardware lab includes massive, expensive, dangerous machines, such as a computer-controlled 9-axis drill, water jet cutters, an industrial sheet metal folding machine, and a number of gigantic milling machines, among others. The company will offer a number of certifications, precautions, and training to its hardware engineers working at the lab.
With regard to the safety inside the 'Area 404' hardware lab, Spencer Burns - a CNC Model Maker at the lab - said that the company strictly abides by a 5S safety system --- sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. Burns further added that each of the tools in the lab is laid in a labeled square of tape.
Highlighting the fact that 'Area 404' will complement Facebook's existing hardware-oriented labs, like the Oculus VR headset facility in Seattle and the Aquila Internet-access drone hangar in the UK, the company's Engineering VP Jay Parikh said that the objective behind the new hardware lab is to "bring together the various hardware teams to work together."