Robot crushes man to death after mistaking him for a box

A man working at a vegetable sorting plant in South Korea was crushed to death by an industrial robot after it mistook him for a box.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported the incident occurred while the victim — a robotics company employee in his 40s — was inspecting the machine’s sensors ahead of a test run on Wednesday, 8 November 2023.

The robot is used to lift boxes of peppers and place them onto pallets.

However, during the inspection, it mistook the worker for a box, grabbed him, and pushed his body against a conveyor belt, crushing his face and chest.

Although the worker was taken to hospital, he later died of his injuries.

The test was originally supposed to take place on Monday, 6 November, but was delayed due to issues with the robot’s sensors.

The worker — an employee of the robotics company that made the arm — worked on the robot late on Wednesday.

The Donggoseong Export Agricultural Complex, which owns the plant in the South Gyeongsang province, called for a “precise and safe” system to be established.

The incident comes after a worker in his 50s suffered severe injuries after being trapped by a robot at a vehicle parts factory in March 2023.


Now read: Major US robotaxi operator banned from using driverless cars in California

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Robot crushes man to death after mistaking him for a box