Robot crushes man to death after mistaking him for a box

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A robot crushed a man to death after apparently mistaking him for a box, South Korean media reported.

The tragedy occurred on Wednesday evening local time at a vegetable sorting facility in South Gyeongsang Province about 150 miles south of Seoul, according to the BBC.

The industrial robot was designed to lift boxes of vegetables and place them on a pallet, but as an employee of the company that made the machine was performing checks on it, the robot suddenly pushed him against a conveyor belt, crushing his face and chest. .

After he was released, he was taken to hospital with serious injuries but later died.

The employee, aged in his 40s, was working to fix an issue with the robot’s sensors, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

After the incident, an official from the Dongseong Export Agricultural Complex, which owns the factory, called for an “accurate and safe” system to be put in place.

Wednesday’s accident follows a similar accident earlier this year when a South Korean man in his 50s was trapped by a robot while on a shift at an auto parts factory, leaving him with serious injuries.

These incidents demonstrate that while robots can bring significant benefits in terms of efficiency, they can also pose a risk to nearby humans if they are not properly designed or maintained, or if those working alongside them do not receive appropriate training.

Tech giant Amazon, which is known to deploy huge numbers of robots in its warehouses with plans for more, recently commissioned the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to conduct research that will include a look at how workers can interact with robots safely and efficiently.

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