A robot at a Volkswagen factory killed a man. Volkswagen has acknowledged the unfortunate accident and explained why it happened, but many are dismissing the incident as a hoax solely due to the fact that the incident was revealed by a woman named Sarah O’Connor, which is also a character from the Terminator series.
A Volkswagen factory in Germany had a rather tragic accident when an older generation robot crushed a 22-year-old man. The company on the other hand, is attempting to blame the youth for his own death. The story though took a bizarre twist because one of the reporters who broke the story is named Sarah O’Connor, which is also the name of a fictional character in the Terminator movies where cybernetic robots resembling humans routinely kill humans during a robot uprising.
However, Volkswagen has confirmed the death of the worker. The 22-year-old’s identity hasn’t been released, but the company revealed he was an external contractor working at the Volkswagen factory in Baunatal, Germany. According to Heiko Hillwig, a representative for the German automobile manufacturer, the 22-year-old man was grabbed by a giant stationary robot, which crushed him against a metal plate. The employee died on his way to the hospital.
Stationary robots are the ones that are bolted to the floor and usually have arms that are free to rotate and carry out work. The flexibility achieved by multiple joints allows the robot arm to reach hard-to-reach places and carry out work that would take a lot more time for a man. The man killed by the robot was in fact installing it. The robot would have eventually been deployed on the production line of all-electric Volkswagen cars.
Incidentally, there are quite a few safety precautions in place at the Volkswagen factory. The robot that killed the man is housed inside a specially designed cage to prevent accidents like these. But apparently, the young man made a decision to step inside the cage to complete the installation. Another man who didn’t enter the cage wasn’t harmed in the incident. Hence it has prompted Volkswagen to state,
“Initial conclusions indicate that human error was to blame”
The use of robotics is rising, especially on assembly lines. Volkswagen’s factories have about one robot for every 10 human workers, and the gap is steadily diminishing. In fact, Volkswagen has robots that operate without safety cages owing to their exceptional safety records. Though the robot may have accidentally killed the man, an investigation has been launched in collaboration with the German police.
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