Nightmare: Factory robot impales worker with steel spikes after malfunction


From The Sun: The 49-year-old, named as Mr. Zhou, was working on the night shift at a porcelain factory in Hunan province when he was struck by a falling robotic arm.

The accident resulted in him being impaled with foot long, half-inch thick metal rods, the People’s Daily reported.

He was first taken to a local hospital before he was transferred to the Xiangya Hospital of Central South University due to the severity of his injuries.

Six steel rods fixed on a steel plate pierced his right shoulder and chest, and four penetrated elsewhere in his body.

During the operation, doctors found that one of the rods missed an artery by just 0.1mm.

The rods also prevented doctors from carrying out X-rays before the operation.

“They were relatively big so there was no means of getting fitting the patient into the X-ray machine while the nails themselves could have caused interference with X-rays,” said Wu Panfeng, an associate professor of hand microsurgery.

Surgeons worked through the night to take out all of the rods in Mr. Zhou’s body.

His condition is now described as stable and he will undergo treatment and physiotherapy to assist his recovery, and he is already able to move his right arm.

Mr. Zhou was lucky not to suffer the same fate as American factory worker Wanda Holbrook. The maintenance technician was killed by rogue robot who had veered into the area she was working in and crushed her head.

The 57-year-old was inspecting machinery in an area where components were assembled when the robot “took Wanda by surprise, entering the section she was working in”, court documents filed at the time said.

In 2015, another car industry worker, this time in Germany, was also killed by a robot. The unnamed 22-year-old man was part of a team that was setting up the stationary robot at a Volkswagen plant when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate,

Last year, a construction worker miraculously survived after he was electrocuted, thrown from his workstation and then impaled through the anus by a four-foot steel bar.


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Dr. Eowyn
1 year ago

That was an unintended malfunction.
What about the Terminator scenario — a future when robots develop consciousness and will, and rebel against humanity?

Joseph BC69
Joseph BC69
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Eowyn

Granted these were malfunctions, but it is odd to me how very deadly they were. I wonder why these machines are not outfitted with a simple Fail-Safe device where they shut down automatically if there is a circuitry failure?

1 year ago

In the immortal words of Homer Simpson….. D’oh!!!!

1 year ago

We’re too late. The Terminator already is here. The link below is to a Ted Talk presentation given by US defense expert Jay Tuck, who was news director of the daily news program ARD-Tagesthemen and combat correspondent for German Television in two Gulf Wars. The talk was given in Hamburg, Germany January 31, 2017. All the examples Tuck shows of lethal and unstoppable Artificial Intelligence already exist. I have to admit that his presentation was one of the most frightening scenarios for the end of humanity I ever have seen. His presentation is titled, “Artificial Intelligence: it will kill us.”… Read more »

Steven Broiles
1 year ago

Looks like Mr. Zhou was pretty lucky. But what I don’t get is the absence of blood at the entry and exit sites of the rods, unless that blood was already washed off. A.I. and automation will wreak havoc and death around the world once they wipe out 90% of all the jobs around the world within the next 20 years (or less): Does anyone in his right mind believe that the central bankers are going to pay for the rest of us to be sheltered, clothed and fed? Not To Worry: They’ll think of some way to get rid… Read more »

1 year ago

Several years ago I spoke with a Navy nurse in San Diego. The Naval hospital there had robots that delivered drugs throughout the place. They have their own elevators and they more or less act like “Roomba” vacuums. She was telling me that an older couple got into the robot’s elevator by mistake and that the robot came and tried to get in there with them. Every time they tried to leave it advanced and they became terrified. By the time they got them out of there they were both hysterical. This is just like the “self-serve” aisles that I… Read more »

1 year ago

Leftists will think they can control it for their own ends, of course…