Man killed by industrial robot that could not differentiate between him and box of produce

The man, a robotics company worker in his 40s, was inspecting the robot's sensor operations at a distribution centre for agricultural produce

By AFP

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Published: Wed 8 Nov 2023, 4:28 PM

A man was crushed to death by a robot in South Korea after the machine apparently failed to differentiate him from the boxes of produce it was handling, the Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday.

The man, a robotics company worker in his 40s, was inspecting the robot's sensor operations at a distribution centre for agricultural produce in South Gyeongsang province.

The industrial robot, which was lifting boxes filled with bell peppers and placing them on a pallet, appears to have malfunctioned and identified the man as a box, Yonhap reported citing the police.

The robotic arm pushed the man's upper body down against the conveyor belt, crushing his face and chest, according to Yonhap.

He was transferred to the hospital but died later, the report said.

In March, a South Korean man in his 50s suffered serious injuries after getting trapped by a robot while working at an automobile parts manufacturing plant.

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