A technician has been killed by a robot at a Volkswagen plant near Kassel, Germany.
A 21 year old external contractor was installing the robot together with a colleague when he was struck in the chest by the robot and pressed against a metal plate. He later died of his injuries, reports Chris Bryant, the FT’s Frankfurt correspondent.
Prosecutors have opened an investigation into how the accident occurred.
Robot-related fatalities are rare in western production plants as robots are kept behind safety cages to prevent accidental contact with humans.
In this instance the contractor was standing inside the safety cage when the accident occurred.
The second employee was outside the cage and was unharmed.
A Volkswagen spokesman stressed that the robot was not one of the new generation of lightweight collaborative robots that work side-by-side with workers on the production line and forgo safety cages.
VW said the robot had not suffered a technical defect.
Not defective. In other words, working as intended. Killing people.
We’re screwed. Thanks, Science Nerds!