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Robot accidentally kills worker in Volkswagen auto factory

Investigation underway after incident in Volkswagen factory
By: Michael Hatamoto | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Jul 4, 2015 4:53 am

Volkswagen officials confirmed an incident at a company production plant in Germany, after a robot grabbed a worker and crushed the 22-year-old. One other contractor was reportedly witness to the incident, with Volkswagen currently conducting an investigation.

 

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Early indications blame human error while they were setting up the robot. The robot being installed is designed to complete assembly tasks and is located in a relatively isolated area of the factory floor. These types of automated robots use sensors that identify human movement, and can be programmed to shut off if a worker gets too close.

 

These types of accidents do occur, and this certainly isn't the first robot-involved death, but there are concerns related to robots. "It wasn't the first time - but timing is everything," as "people are getting their knickers in a twist about 'the robots taking our jobs,'" said Paul Saffo, a technology futurist, in a statement published by the Financial Times.

 

In 2014, Volkswagen said more robots would be utilized as baby boomer employees in factories retire from their full-time duties.

NEWS SOURCES:Abcnews.go.com, Theguardian.com, Iflscience.com

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