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Man crushed to death by robot in South Korea

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    18 hours ago

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A man has been crushed to death by a robot in South Korea after it failed to differentiate him from the boxes of food it was handling, reports say.

The incident occurred when the man, a robotics company employee in his 40s, was inspecting the robot.

The robotic arm, confusing the man for a box of vegetables, grabbed him and pushed his body against the conveyer belt, crushing his face and chest, South Korean news agency Yonhap said.

He was sent to hospital but later died.


According to Yonhap, the robot was responsible for lifting boxes of peppers and transferring them onto pallets.

The man had been checking the robot’s sensor operations ahead of its test run at the pepper sorting plant in South Gyeongsang province, scheduled for 8 November, the agency adds, quoting police.

The test had originally been planned for 6 November, but was pushed back by two days due to problems with the robot’s sensor.

The man, a worker from the company that manufactured the robotic arm, was running checks on the machine late into the night on Wednesday when it malfunctioned.

In a statement after the incident, an official from the Donggoseong Export Agricultural Complex, which owns the plant, called for a “precise and safe” system to be established.

In March, a South Korean man in his 50s suffered serious injuries after getting trapped by a robot while working at an automobile parts manufacturing plant.

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