A devastating incident occurred at a pepper sorting facility in South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea, leading to the tragic death of an employee from a robotics company. The man lost his life as the robot’s gripper, used for sensor checks, mistakenly identified him as a box of peppers, resulting in severe chest and head injuries. Despite immediate hospitalization, the man did not survive.
The robot, operational for around five years, was initially designed to transfer pepper boxes onto pallets. The incident occurred during a test run after modifications were made to the sorting line. Originally scheduled for November 6th, the test run faced a two-day delay due to sensor issues. On the day of the incident, the man, an employee of the robotic arm’s manufacturing company, worked late into the night to prepare for the test run.
Reports indicate that the robotic arm was crucial in supporting local farmers by stacking sorted pepper boxes on pallets over two meters high, addressing labor shortages. Following the tragedy, a representative from the Donggoseong Export Agricultural Complex, the facility’s owner, called for developing “more precise and safer” robotic systems, recognizing the growing adoption of such technology in various work environments.
This unfortunate event echoes a similar incident in March, where another South Korean man suffered serious injuries after becoming entangled in a robot machine at an auto parts manufacturing plant in Gunsan.
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