A scene out of the movie Terminator just happened for real. A robot killed a contractor at one of Volkswagen's production plants in Germany, the automaker said.
The man died on Monday at the plant in Baunatal, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Frankfurt, VW spokesperson 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.
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.
Another contractor was present when the incident occurred, but wasn't harmed, Hillwig said. He declined to give any more details about the case, citing an ongoing investigation.
German news agency dpa reported that prosecutors were considering whether to bring charges, and if so, against whom.
The incident received a lot of attention on the social media after UK journalist Sarah O'Connor, who has the same name as Terminator actor Sarah Connor, posted about the mishap on Twitter.
A tragic incident that highlights some legal issues of IoT. Very interesting. Robot kills man at Volkswagen plant http://t.co/EghSk2b8h9— Yael Beeri (@YaelBeeri) July 2, 2015
Tragic news or viral marketing for the new Terminator movie? http://t.co/MVPMlXyX4u— Seventh Beacon (@seventhbeacon) July 2, 2015