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Man killed by robot that confused him for a box of vegetables

November 9, 2023
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A man was crushed reportedly to death by a robot in South Korea. According to a report in the Yonhap news agency, the machine apparently failed to differentiate him from the boxes of produce it was handling. The man, identified as a robotics company worker in his 40s, worked at a distribution center for agricultural produce in South Gyeongsang province.
The industrial robot was lifting boxes filled with bell peppers and placing them on a pallet.

It appears that the robot malfunctioned and identified the man as a vegetable box. As per the report, the robot arm confused him for a box of vegetables as it was programmed to handle and grab him against the conveyor belt. The robotic arm then pushed the man’s upper body down against the conveyor belt, crushing his face and chest, according to the report. The report claims that the man had been checking the robot’s sensor ahead of the test run at the pepper sorting plant. He was reportedly called to check problems with the robot’s sensor that were noticed two days earlier.

He was taken to the hospital but died later, the report said. In a statement, an official from the Donggoseong Export Agricultural Complex, which owns the plant, called for a “precise and safe” system to be established, reported Yonhap.
This is the second such case reported in South Korea this year. In March, a South Korean man in his 50s suffered serious injuries after getting trapped by a robot while working at an automobile parts manufacturing plant.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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