Robot Grabs And Kills Worker At Volkswagon Factory In Germany

Volkswagen has disclosed that a robot has killed a contractor involved in its installation. The fatal accident happened at VW’s Baunatal plant, north of Frankfurt on Monday.

VW Produktion Volkswagen uses robots for a range of tasks such as welding

Human error was likely to have been to blame and not a problem with the robot, said VW spokesman Heiko Hillwig late on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old victim was a member of a team setting up the stationary robot. It grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate, Hillwig said.

The man was resuscitated at the factory but died later in hospital, he said.

The Baunatal plant in Germany’s central state of Hesse produces mainly transmissions and electric motors and employs about 15,500 workers.

The contractor worked for a firm from Germany’s eastern state of Saxony.

Charges, but against whom?

Another contractor present was not harmed, Hillwig said.

Such robots normally operate within confined areas at the plant by grabbing auto parts and manipulating them.

The robotic line being assembled had not been formally handed over to Volkswagen, the spokesman added.

The German news agency DPA said prosecutors were considering whether to bring charges, and if so, against whom.

German work and safety rules were recently tightened, requiring risk assessments before the introduction of new equipment.

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1 Comment

  1. Shape of Things to Come ?

    In the annals of Robotics , 02 July , 2015 will be remembered

    On this day , an assembly line robot , in Germany’s Volkswagen factory grabbed and crushed a worker against a metal plate, killing him

    It is too early to say whether this was an act of ,

    > Human negligence
    > Technical failure , or
    > Beginning of the Ray Kurzweil’s prediction, when the brains of the
    Computers and Human beings will merge seamlessly to constitute ,
    what he called ” Singularity ” ( so feared by Elon Musk ! )

    Whether – and when – humans will reach such an ” Event Horizon ” or not , it is high time , Governments of the World , formally adopt and legislate , that the robot manufacturers shall build into their creations, the 3 laws first pronounced by famous science-fiction writer , Isaac Asimov

    These laws are :

    1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

    3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

    Now consider this :

    > India is already a ” Software Super-power ”

    > Prime Minister , Shri Narendra Modi , launched on 01 July , a Digital
    India campaign to transform India’s e-Governance and lift millions of
    India’s poor , out of abysmal poverty

    It would be a glorious achievement of India’s computer scientists , if they develop and undertake, to supply to the robot manufacturers of the World , a license-free software algorithm , incorporating Asimov’s 3 ” Laws of Robotics ”


    hemen parekh
    03 July , 2015


    Liked by 2 people

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