An industrial robot (pictured) carrying crates of peppers killed a technician at a packaging factory, South Korean police said, as they are investigating the circumstances of the accident.
According to officials in the southern province of Goseong, the unfortunate man died of head and chest injuries when the robot’s arms grabbed him and crushed him on a conveyor belt, the Associated Press reports.
Police did not release his name, but said the victim was an employee of an industrial robot company and was sent to the factory to check that the machine was working properly.
Two robots recently installed at the factory packed peppers and other vegetables exported to other Asian countries.
The BBC reported that the robot mistook the technician for the cages, but a police spokesman denied that scenario.
“It wasn’t such an advanced machine,” he said.
Another police officer, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to reporters, said the possibility of damage or human error was also being looked into.
Security camera footage showed the technician approaching the robot while holding a large box, which may have triggered the robot, which has sensors to recognize the crates, to react.
The accident is not the first of its kind in South Korea. In March, a robot assembling auto parts seriously injured a worker examining it, and last year a robot operating near a conveyor belt crushed a worker at a Pyeongtaek dairy.