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Man Killed by Robot in Car factory

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  • Man Killed by Robot in Car factory

    I once posted about the use of robots during disasters and the many advantages that they can do to prevent risking human lives in rescue missions. When there is an advantage, there is also a disadvantage.

    A robot accidentally killed a worker at a Volkswagen factory in Germany. The man was said to be working on the robot when it suddenly grabbed him and eventually crushed him to death. The death wasn’t blamed on the robot but on human error. The robot can be programmed to do some tasks while it is still in the assembly process so that could have been the reason why it suddenly grabbed on the man while he was on the process of assembling it.

    Here’s a link to the story:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/articl...at-car-factory

  • #2
    That is really horrible, to die because of a machine. Robot inventors should really be careful on how they program these machines. Even just one mistake in programming can be dangerous for people around the machine even an innocent passerby.

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    • #3
      You're right Briannagodess. There was definitely an error that occurred with regards to the robot's programming. It was programmed to do certain tasks even at the course of assembly. There's no doubt that robots can really help a lot when it comes to accomplishing tasks fast, especially when it comes to heavy machineries that humans are incapable of handling on their own. It's just so sad that someone had to die on the job because of programming error.

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      • #4
        This is a robot with no self aware Artificial intelligence. Just imagine how dangerous it would be if Robots with free will are created. It is something many scientist are trying to accomplish. This accident happened I think because of negligence. I know these robots are created to make human lives easier but they can be dangerous if neglected and they can even be more dangerous if they were in the wrong hands. I never wanted to work n a factory because its very accident prone.
        gracer likes this.

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        • #5
          This is a somewhat bizarre story. Obviously, the robot is a programmed machine, but it still sends shivers down my spine to imagine that someone can be grabbed and killed by a robot that can't be turned off. or, there is no one in the vicinity that can turn it off. I am not sure that robots really make human lives easier. People got by in the past without robots, but obviously, life was less technological in those days.

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          • #6
            I once worked in a factory that made car parts. The welding arms are extremely large, fast, and very dangerous. It is not hard to envision someone dying easily from an accident with them. At my factory there were signs posted everywhere. Not only were people warned to stay away from that section if they weren't maintenance, but their jobs were threatened if they were caught within the robots' "zone".

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            • #7
              They should not be programmed like that. Robots are helpful, but can be really dangerous. I have never liked the level of reliance we having on robots and computers to do so many important things. This is a tragic example of what can go wrong.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DancingLady View Post
                They should not be programmed like that. Robots are helpful, but can be really dangerous. I have never liked the level of reliance we having on robots and computers to do so many important things. This is a tragic example of what can go wrong.
                Aren't the majority of jobs that have been given to robots and automated in recent years, jobs that humans either can't do, won't do or can be done significantly faster and safer?

                From what I have read, robots actually increase worker safety as they prevent workers from performing dangerous tasks. They can work in hazardous conditions, such as poor lighting, toxic chemicals, and tight spaces, and they are capable of of lifting heavy loads without injury or tiring.

                A recent Swedish case study revealed how industrial robots are being increasingly used to keep humans out of harm's way.

                Plucking a block of plastic-wrapped cheese off a conveyor belt and putting it into the correct position in a box at the rate of nearly one per second caused such high rates of repetitive strain injuries that this particular part of the factory had been labeled a “red” workstation, a designation for areas with elevated health and safety risk. “This is high-speed, repetitive work, and it led to injuries which in some cases were permanent,” says Thomas Johansson, project manager at Arla Foods. Determined to take steps to protect the health of its workers, Arla Foods brought in engineering company Graniten to come up with an automated solution to take the strain off its employees.
                Andrew McAfee of the Harvard Business Review recently opined that: "As the amount of data goes up, the importance of human judgment should go down.”"

                McAfee reviewed years of studies of algorithms versus human judgment by various experts and concluded that our reliance on humans has shifted in recent years: "The practical conclusion is that we should turn many of our decisions, predictions, diagnoses, and judgments—both the trivial and the consequential—over to the algorithms. There’s just no controversy any more about whether doing so will give us better results.”

                Wired published this article a few years back speculating that before the end of the century, 70 percent of today's occupations will be replaced by automation.

                First, machines will consolidate their gains in already-automated industries. After robots finish replacing assembly line workers, they will replace the workers in warehouses. Speedy bots able to lift 150 pounds all day long will retrieve boxes, sort them, and load them onto trucks. Fruit and vegetable picking will continue to be robotized until no humans pick outside of specialty farms. Pharmacies will feature a single pill-dispensing robot in the back while the pharmacists focus on patient consulting. Next, the more dexterous chores of cleaning in offices and schools will be taken over by late-night robots, starting with easy-to-do floors and windows and eventually getting to toilets. The highway legs of long-haul trucking routes will be driven by robots embedded in truck cabs.
                It is a lengthy article but it does provides some food for thought and discussion as to how things may progress in the next 20 or 30 years.

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                • #9
                  This is a sad situation but as robots become more and more part of the workforce we are going to see more incidents like this occurring.

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                  • #10
                    This case sounds like a real life horror movie about robots... it's a really sad situation for the mans and for his family.
                    Robots now are almost part of our society and accidents always be there, no matter on what you're working on. The only thing that can be done is try to be more careful when they are manufacturing robots or working directly with them to prevent those tragic accidents.

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                    • #11
                      How is Take over the apt word to use here ?? They can't think, they are merely another piece of machinery. This robot was merely executing what it was programmed to do, it did not kill the worker because "it wanted to take over".
                      The new Universal Robots being installed in VW are a Collaborative Robot that will stop when they come into contact with anything.I had known it from a friend of mine doing an intern.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gracer View Post
                        I once posted about the use of robots during disasters and the many advantages that they can do to prevent risking human lives in rescue missions. When there is an advantage, there is also a disadvantage.

                        A robot accidentally killed a worker at a Volkswagen factory in Germany. The man was said to be working on the robot when it suddenly grabbed him and eventually crushed him to death. The death wasn’t blamed on the robot but on human error. The robot can be programmed to do some tasks while it is still in the assembly process so that could have been the reason why it suddenly grabbed on the man while he was on the process of assembling it.

                        Here’s a link to the story:

                        http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/articl...at-car-factory

                        Yes, you said it right, it is quite accidental. But the media here tried to make it as a sci-fi thriller story. Some news papers even said that robot committed this crime to a select person as if it was taking revenge. They were popularising it making it similar to the movie "i robot".

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