Robot kills India factory worker

07:40 PM | 15 Aug, 2015
Robot kills India factory worker
GURGAON (Web Desk) - A robot working in a factory of a car manufacturing plant in Haryana, India, has killed a co-worker after he tried to fix a minor error in the work process.

The incident occurred earlier this week when the factory worker had gone around the robot to adjust a metal plate that the robot was handling at that particular time, the Emirates247 reported.


The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital but he was dead by the time he was wheeled in.

Ramji Lal (24), from Unnao, UP, worked as a loader for SKH Metals, an auto ancillary company, at the Industrial Model Township (IMT) Manesar. He joined a year-and-a-half ago.

Lal was at work in the welding unit that has special-purpose machines and robotic welding lines. Around 63 workers and 39 robots were on duty when the accident took place.

"The robot is pre-programmed to weld metal sheets it lifts. One such sheet got dislodged and Lal reached from behind the machine to adjust it. This was when welding sticks attached to the pre-programmed device pierced Lal's abdomen," a co-worker said. Another shop floor colleague claimed that had Lal approached the robot from the front and hadn't stooped to adjust the sheet, the accident wouldn't have happened.


Worker associations have already started blaming the factory for lack of safety features, resulting in the accident.

The incident has occurred even as several leading scientists and industrialists have called upon responsible use of robotic technology, especially the use of artificial intelligence in weaponry.

Over 1,000 scientists and robotic experts including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Noam Chomsky and Steven Wozniak have called for a ban on robots that have the ability to kill, especially offensive autonomous weapons.

Read more: Top researchers urge ban on artificially intelligent ‘Killer Robots’

Under an initiative by the Future of Life Institute, the petition has called for an end to machines and robots that can kill without the involvement of human decision making.


“Autonomous weapons select and engage targets without human intervention…. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is - practically if not legally - feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: Autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms,” the petition argues.

The signatories state that while Artificial Intelligence has great potential to benefit humanity in many ways, and that the goal of the field should be to do so.