Sounds like a science fiction movie, eh? But the incident was quite REAL!
According to reports, the 22-year-old man was picked up and crushed by an automated arm while working on the production line. The said German worker was a technician installing a stationary robot, which is programmed to complete a series of tasks in the assembly process by grabbing parts and manipulating them. The incident occurred at the factory in Baunatal, which assembles car components for other plants.
The robot grabbed and crushed the technician against a metal plate. He was then rushed to a nearby hospital, but later died from his injuries.
The incident, at a Volkswagen plant in Germany, is believed to be the first death in Europe caused by an industrial robot. But experts were quick to dispel any ideas that the tragedy could be seen as the darker side of science fiction becoming reality. Volkswagen spokesman Heiko Hillwig insisted that the death was a result of initial conclusions indicated human error was to blame rather than a malfunction with the robot, which can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process.
It normally operates within a confined area at the plant, grabbing auto parts and manipulating them,” he explained.
Volkswagen, which is one of the most automated carmakers in the world, said the robot involved was owned by the contractors. Prosecutors are considering whether to bring charges, and if so, against whom?
Currently, there isn’t a lot of information available on the details of the case, however, 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.