Man Crushed To Death By Robot While At Work

A South Korean worker was crushed to death on Wednesday after a robotic arm failed to differentiate him from the boxes it was supposed to be handling, the Korea Times reported.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that the robotics company employee was running tests on the sensor operations of an industrial robot at a South Gyeongsang province produce distribution center before the company’s test run with the robot.

The industrial robot was intended to lift boxes of produce from a conveyor belt and place them onto pallets.

Initially, the test was scheduled for November 6 but was delayed due to problems with the sensor operations.

The worker who was employed by the robotics company that supplied the robot was running checks late Wednesday night when the robotic arm malfunctioned. The robotic arm mistook the man for a box of vegetables, grabbed him, and pressed his body against the conveyor belt, crushing his chest and face.

The man, said to be in his 40s, was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

In a statement after the accident, an official from the Donggoseong Export Agricultural Complex, the company that owns the distribution plant, said a “precise and safe” robotics system must be established, according to the BBC.

In March, a South Korean auto parts manufacturing plant employee sustained serious injuries after getting trapped by a robot.