Go to HAL! Robots behaving badly at VW in Germany.

Robot kills worker at Volkswagen plant in Germany

A robot has killed a contractor at one of Volkswagen’s production plants in Germany, the automaker has said.

The man died on Monday at the plant in Baunatal, about 100km (62 miles) north of Frankfurt, VW spokesman Heiko Hillwig said.

The 22-year-old was part of a team that was setting up the stationary robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate, Hillwig said.

Now lest the nervous Nellies begin letting their fictional fantasylands get the better of them, the news report was clear to hedge speculation:

He said initial conclusions indicate that human error was to blame, rather than a problem with the robot, which can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process. He said it normally operates within a confined area at the plant, grabbing auto parts and manipulating them.

You know, just because. No need to worry people with the possibility that a ravenous Kraut robot is on the loose or has a malevolent mind of its own…

OK, now this?

German news agency DPA reported that prosecutors were considering whether to bring charges, and if so, against whom.