Contractor Killed by Robot in Volkswagen Production Plant

A robot has crushed a man to death at a Volkswagen production plant in Germany.
A robot has crushed a man to death at a Volkswagen production plant in Germany. (Screenshot/YouTube)

A 22-year-old external contractor has been killed by a robot that he was installing at a Volkswagen production plant in Germany.

The robot grabbed him by the chest, then crushed him against a metal plate, killing him.

“The man died Monday at the plant in Baunatal, about 100 kilometers [62 miles] north of Frankfurt,” Heiko Hillwig, a Volkswagen spokesman, said. “The 22-year-old was part of a team that was setting up the stationary robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate,” he added.

Robot kills man at Volkswagen plant in Germany:

The contractor was rushed to a hospital, but died of his injuries. Volkswagen has not released the man’s name.

Hillwig said that the “initial conclusions indicate that human error was to blame, rather than a problem with the robot, which can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process, it normally operates within a confined area at the plant, grabbing auto parts and manipulating them.”

VW Golf 7 robot production line:

According to Times Record News, another contractor was present when the incident occurred, but wasn’t harmed, Hillwig said. He declined to give any more details about the case, citing an ongoing investigation.

The workers at the plant are normally separated from the robots that operate in a confined space, but this attack happen when the victim was working on it within its caged area.  There is not a lot of information available while it is still under investigation by the German authorities. The prosecutors who are looking into how the accident occurred and have yet to say whether charges will be brought against anyone involved.

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