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Robot kills man at Germany automobile plant

According to media reports a robot at one of Volkswagen’s production plants in Germany killed a contractor in Baunatal, about 62 miles north of Frankfurt, VW spokesman Heiko Hillwig said.

The 22-year-old was part of a team that was setting up the stationary robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate, spokesman said.

The initial conclusions indicate that human error was to blame, rather than a problem with the robot, he said. The robots can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process. He said it normally operates within a confined area at the plant, grabbing auto parts and manipulating them.

Another worker was present when the incident occurred, but wasn’t harmed, Hillwig said. He declined to give any more details about the case, citing an ongoing investigation.

German news agency dpa reported that prosecutors were considering whether to bring charges, and if so, against whom.



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