An employee of a robot installation company was crushed to death in South Korea when an industrial robot mistook him for a box. He was visiting the plant to decide whether the machine was working correctly. One of two pick-and-place robots used to package bell peppers and other vegetables, the robot grabbed him and pushed his body against a conveyor belt before crushing the man’s face and chest. The warehouse is in the South Gyeongsand province in the southern part of the country.
One theory is that the man moved near the robot with a box in his hands, triggering the machine’s reaction. The investigation continues.
This is not an isolated incident. Earlier this year, a robot crushed and seriously injured a worker at an auto parts factory. In contrast, last year, a robot in operation near a conveyor belt fatally crushed a worker at a milk factory.