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Robot kills man

The industrial machine crushed a South Korean man after mistaking him for a box of vegetables

A worker has been killed by a box-lifting robot at an agriculture distribution center located in South Gyeongsang Province, South Korean media reported, citing local police.

The accident at the factory complex occurred late on Tuesday, when the victim, an employee of a robotics company in his forties who was servicing the industrial robots installed at the plant, attempted to inspect the sensor operations of the lifting robot.

The machine, however, erroneously identified the man as a box of bell peppers, lifting him into the air and slamming him into conveyor belt.

While the worker survived the initial man-machine altercation, he died at hospital shortly afterwards, succumbing to severe crush injuries to his head and chest. The police pledged to launch a probe to establish the exact causes of the accident, and to investigate managers of the site for possible negligence.

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The operator of the distribution center, Donggoseong Export Agricultural Complex, promised to evaluate the incident as well, calling for the creation of “precise and safe” systems to keep the robots in check. The name of the robotics company that employed the deceased worker, has not been disclosed and it has made no public comments on the matter.


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