A young contractor technician has been killed at a Volkswagen factory in Baunatal, Germany by an industrial robot.
AP and others report that the man, aged either 21 or 22, was “grabbed” by the robot while he was installing it, with the machine then pinning the man against a metal plate. He was resuscitated at the scene but later died in hospital.
Such fatalities are rare, as industrial robots are usually kept within cages to avoid accidents. The technician was inside the caged area, with an uninjured co-worker nearby just outside of it.
The Financial Times reports that “A Volkswagen spokesman stressed that the robot was not one of the new generation of lightweight collaborative robots that work side-by-side with workers on the production line and forgo safety cages”.
The spokesman said that human error and not a fault with the robot was to blame for the incident.