google10fa0980c6101c7f.html The Many Faces of Death: DEATH by a Killer Robot, JAPAN


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Thursday, August 25, 2011

0 DEATH by a Killer Robot, JAPAN

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Kenji Urada (c. 1944 — July 4, 1981) was one of the first persons reported to have been killed by a robot.

On July 4, 1981, Urada was employed as a 37-year old maintenance engineer at a Kawasaki Heavy Industries plant.   While working on a broken robot, he failed to turn it off completely, resulting in the robot pushing him into a grinding machine with its hydraulic arm. He died as a result.  The circumstances of his death were not made public until December 8, after an investigation by the labor standards bureau was completed.

It was the first recorded fatality blamed on one of the about 70,000 robots in use in Japanese industrial plants.

The investigators said Kenji Urada stepped across a safety barrier and inadvertently started the robot, whose arm stabbed him in the back.

Urada apparently hit the on-switch accidentally after leaping over a chain fence built around the robot that was labelled "Off Limits," officials said.


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