An outsider contractor working at a Volkswagen factory in Germany has been crushed to death by a robot.
Heiko Hillwig, a Volkswagen spokesman, confirmed to the Associated Press that a team including the 22-year old man were involved in setting up a stationary robot at the company’s factory in Baunatal, Germany, around 100km north of Frankfurt.
During the procedure, the 22-year old was picked up and crushed against a metal plate.
Hillwig stated that a preliminary investigation believes that human error is to be blame rather the robot. The robot in question normally works in a confined space, and its job is to grab car parts and manipulate them.
According to the Financial Times, the deceased man was working within the robot’s safety cage at the time the incident happened. A second man, outside the cage, was unharmed.
A spokesperson stressed to the financial publication that the machine involved was not a new generation collaborative robot, which works side-by-side with humans and doesn’t require a safety cage.
The Hessische Niedersaechsische Allgemeine says that despite attempts at resuscitation, the man died later in hospital. The newspaper understands the accident occurred in a hall that produces electric motors and that state investigators have begun looking into the incident.