robot kills factory worker, crushing him into conveyor belt
A worker was crushed to death by a robot in South Gyeongsang province in South Korea after the machine horrifically pushed him against the moving conveyor belt.
The robot failed to differentiate between the man and the box of vegetables. His face and chest were crushed into the machinery. The industrial robot, which was lifting boxes filled with vegetables, identified the man as a box. The worker was severely injured. He was taken to the hospital but he succumbed to his severe injuries.
What happened to the South Korean worker?
The South Korean worker, in his 40s, was inspecting a machine sensor in the robotics company. While the machine was lifting boxes of vegetables, it also lifted the man with its metallic arm before pushing him against the moving conveyor belt. The man’s face and chest were simultaneously crushed because of the tragic incident.
The police said that the robot appeared to be malfunctioned as it mistook the worker for a box of vegetables. The police said it would launch an investigation against the factory’s managers for potential negligence in duties.
An official from the Dongseong Export Agricultural Complex, which owns the plant, pledged to establish a safe system in the site.
Earlier this year, another South Korean worker, in his 50s, suffered serious injuries after getting trapped by a robot at an automobile parts manufacturing plant.
Will robots replace workers?
Last month, Amazon started trialing humanoid robots in its United States warehouses in order to boost its operations. Workers expressed fear that they may lose jobs as Amazon bought robots for warehouses. Amazon’s move sparked fears among employees about the effect on its
Amazon tested a new robot called Digit, which had arms and legs like humans. Amazon also deployed a robotic system called Sequoia at one of its Houston warehouses.
However, robots cannot replace workers. Robots can make mistakes but humans can do a better job in more complex skills like leadership, creativity, motivation, and critical thinking. Not all jobs can be automated as some jobs require human’s critical thinking.