In a tragic incident, a worker for a robotics company in South Korea was killed when a robot failed to distinguish him from the boxes of vegetables it was handling. The incident occurred while the man, a 40-year-old employee of a robotics company, was inspecting the robot.
According to the Korean news agency Yonhap, a man in his 40s was crushed to death while inspecting a robotic arm at a factory. The robotic arm, which was programmed to lift and place vegetable boxes on conveyor belts, apparently mistook the man for a box and grabbed him, pushing his body against the belt and crushing his face and chest. The man was rushed to the hospital
The worker from the robotic arm manufacturer was inspecting its sensors at a pepper sorting plant in South Gyeongsang province on November 8th, in preparation for its scheduled test run. Due to sensor issues, the test was rescheduled for November 6th. On Wednesday, the worker was performing late-night checks when the machine failed.
Following the incident, the plant’s owner, Donggoseong Export Agricultural Complex, called for the implementation of a “highly accurate and secure” system.
According to South Korean police, the robot that killed a man at a factory was a simple machine that picks up boxes and places them on pallets, rather than an advanced, artificial intelligence-powered robot. Police are working with other agencies to determine whether the machine had technical flaws or safety issues, or if human error was involved.According to police,
the robot’s sensors are designed to identify boxes, and security camera footage shows the man approaching the robot with a box, which likely triggered the machine’s reaction. “This is clearly not a case of a robot mistaking a human for a box – this was not a very sophisticated machine,” a police official said.
While industrial robots are common in factories around the world, accidents do occur on occasion. According to the Associated Press, in March of this year, a manufacturing robot crushed and seriously injured a worker who was inspecting the machine at an auto parts factory in Gunsan, South Korea.
A worker was killed by a robot installed near a conveyor belt at a milk factory in Pyeongtaek last year in 2022. According to a recent study, workplace robots were responsible for at least 41 recorded deaths in the United States between 1992 and 2017, but this figure is likely an underestimate.
An industrial robot crushed a South Korean man to death after it failed to distinguish between him and a box of vegetables.
On Wednesday, the employee of a robotics company was inspecting the robot’s sensor operations at a distribution center for agricultural produce in South Gyeongsang province when the incident occurred.
According to Yonhap news agency, the robotic arm was lifting boxes of peppers and moving them onto pallets when it allegedly malfunctioned and picked up the man instead.
The man was then pushed against the conveyor belt, crushing his face and chest. He was rushed to the hospital but died as a result of his injuries.
The man was then forced up against the conveyor belt, which crushed his chest and face. After being taken to the hospital quickly, he passed away from his wounds.
The worker, who was reportedly in his 40s, was inspecting the sensor in preparation for its test run at the pepper sorting facility. He had originally scheduled the tests for November 6th, but they were postponed by two days because of alleged issues with the robot’s sensor.
According to Yonhap news agency, the robotic arm was supposed to be lifting pepper boxes and placing them on pallets when it malfunctioned and grabbed the man instead.