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.
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.