A South Korean man was killed by an industrial robot that picked him up and slammed him on a conveyor belt
· Nov 18, 2023 · NottheBee.com

Do robots want to kill all humans? Probably not. But do they sometimes get confused on the job, pick up a human, and slam them on a conveyor belt, killing them in the process? Well, we have at least one case of this.

Well, there goes what little trust in robots I had left in me. This man was tasked with repairing an industrial robot whose job, as a pick-and-place machine, was to package bell peppers and other vegetables.

Unfortunately for the repairman, while he was trying to complete his work and get the robot back on track, the robot turned on him, mistaking the box in his hands for one of those boxes of peppers, and then it picked him up and threw him down on the conveyor belt, leaving him with fatal injuries to his head and chest.

An industrial robot grabbed and crushed a worker to death at a vegetable packaging plant in South Korea, police said Thursday, as they investigated whether the machine was defective or improperly designed.

Police said early evidence suggests that human error was more likely to blame rather than problems with the machine itself…

Police in the southern county of Goseong said the man died of head and chest injuries Tuesday evening after he was snatched and pressed against a conveyor belt by the machine's robotic arms.

Seems to me the robot was simply doing its job, and security footage does show the man standing in front of the robot with a box in his hands, which likely triggered the advance of those robot claws. Police mentioned as well that, "It's clearly not a case where a robot confused a human with a box," so we can pretty much rule that one out. A highly unfortunate and sadly tragic accident which hopefully will be avoided in the future.

My sincere condolences to the man's family, who must be just devastated.

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