22 Year Old Died After Accidentally Grab Volkswagen Machine “Rogue” Robot in Germany Production Plant town of Baunatal, approximately 100 km north of Frankfurt. Automaker Volkswagen says a robot has killed a contractor at one of its production plants in Germany.
Heiko Hillwig said: Wednesday the 22-year-old was part of a team that was setting up the robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate.
Hillwig said initial conclusions indicate that human error was to blame, rather than a problem with the robot. German news agency DPA reported that prosecutors were considering whether to bring charges, and if so, against whom.
The dangers of people working alongside machines facts and cons, Data released last year revealed industrial robots were responsible for at least 33 deaths in the US in the last 30 years.
But before you start believing this is an early sign of an impending robot apocalypse, Volkswagen spokesman Heiko Hillwig suggests that human error was to blame rather than a ‘rogue’ robot, the Associated Press reports.
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Workers in the plant are usually separated from the robots, which operate within a confined area, but in this instance, the victim was working on the robot inside the cage when he was attacked. Another worker who was present during the accident was not harmed, Hillwig said.
Currently, there isn’t a lot of information available on the details of the case, but it is being investigated by German authorities. The other worker who witnessed the incident has declined to give further details about the case while the investigation is ongoing. Prosecutors, who are looking into how the accident occurred, have yet to decide whether charges will be brought against anyone involved.
Last year, Volkswagen announced it would use its cost-effective robot workers to replace some retiring human employees and unveiled a new generation of light-weight robots deemed safe enough to work alongside humans directly (not the kind of machine involved in this accident).
The trend towards these more ‘people-like’ robots is occurring in all sorts of manufacturing and production industries, as technological developments give rise to machines that are capable of performing increasingly sophisticated tasks, with less emphasis on conveyor-belt-style repetition.
Nonetheless, this incident highlights the ongoing dangers of people working in the same environments as robotic machines, particularly as automation processes steadily take the place of jobs once performed by human workers.