Robot kills worker at Volkswagen factory in Germany


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I assume Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw are investigating…


I always assume that cats will precipitate the robot revolution…
Any sign of our future feline overlords nearby?


The ROBOT REVOLUTION will not be televised…


Max the cat is a dick to dogs


As someone who has done software development and hardware integration in automation that involved human operators … it is not funny. One operator for a subsystem upstream from our subsystem had an X/Y/Z stacker/gripper that trapped an operator’s head onto a plexiglass and extruded aluminum subframe assembly and repeatedly try to clear the problem by repeatedly bashing the worker with a shaft driven gripper assembly. Their emergency switch couldn’t be reached by the operator trapped, so he was bleeding under his bunnysuit and had to to take leave by the time someone could help him.

It is not funny, and I am thankful that nothing I wrote or installed hurt or injured an operator. Killing an operator … I would have never touched a keyboard again.



Did you know that there is a SkyNet already?



I dunno, it sounds like this was maintenance work rather than during production. My immediate thought is that lockout/tagout procedures either weren’t followed, or were set up in such a way as to make following them functionally impossible (eg 10 minute walk to the panel and back for each 10-second test)


Having also worked in machine automation, I keep a collection of items that were shattered, bent, or were otherwise mangled during development. They are a useful reminder to never become complacent when working with devices that move very quickly and with great force, but don’t know that they can kill or disfigure you.


I’m not sure I understand. The worker was in the process of installing the robot, and was inside the safety cage when he was killed. Most power tools instruct you to cut power to them when you’re messing directly with the business end (e.g., changing the blade on a radial saw), so I’d think it would make sense to also cut power to the robot if there’s going to be a person inside the safety cage. Is this just a case of the worker being careless or negligent?


Garden variety industrial accident, no more or less funny than any other (maybe not quite as good as the old one about the guy who fell into a lens grinder and made a spectacle of himself). It’s just because this particular piece of industrial machinery is called a “robot” that people are talking about it. It’s not like this device has enough A.I. to turn on its human masters or anything. And it’s (probably) not like it’s a haunted 1958 Plymouth Fury that went bad on the assembly line.

Guy might as well have accidentally turned on a lathe with his necktie hanging too close to it, that’s all.


That is the best amateur museum idea I have heard since my old climbing partner’s collection of blown pitons, biners, slings, cams passive and loaded, harnesses and dangerous shit not to put to the kN.


Damn! and only 5 years after a robot tasted human flesh… that’s it! We are now fully screwed.


Join 'em.


I got my MS at CMU. The walk to many of my classes took me through the robotics and CS buildings.

I saw, on a lab door, an industrial warning sign I’ve never been able to find again. It showed a robot arm taking a slice out of the shoulder of one of those black-silhouette people.

Didn’t realize that slicing and mashing was a real and imminent threat of working around robots.

(A friend & I also made a crime alert poster about robots robbing people of their Indian box lunches.)


During my high school years I could see that very plant from our window. Was friends with several sons of VW people and later VW interns. That was not the first or the last death there. People die making car parts.


And so it begins…


My money is on this theory, too. Industrial robots killing humans are tragic accidents that happen once in a while. If you want more the more disturbing side of robots killing humans I give you the everyday killing of humans by robot:

These kill people by design.