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Worker killed by robot at VW plant

Volkswagen Group Delivers Over 9 Million Vehicles In 2012Volkswagen Group Delivers Over 9 Million Vehicles In 2012

A technician has died from injuries inflicted by a robot at a Volkswagen (VLKPY) plant near Kassel, Germany.

The technician was in the process of installing the robot with a colleague when he was struck in the chest by it and pressed against a metal plate, according to the Financial Times. The technician later died from the injuries.

Volkswagen keeps this type of robot in safety cages to prevent accidents like this one, but in this case, the technician was standing inside the cage to work on the installation. The other technician was outside the cage and was not harmed.

Volkswagen also uses new lightweight robots that work alongside workers at the plant, though the company emphasized to the Financial Times that this was not one of those robots. It also said that the robot did not have a technical defect.

Volkswagen announced last October that it was planning to replace some retiring Baby Boomers with robots which are much more cost effective, though the automotive industry has long turned to robotics for certain uses.

Prosecutors have already opened an investigation into the matter.