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Robot Kills Worker – Major Computer System Failure


There are a number of incidents which makes the use of technology questionable. The navigation systems failing and directing through wrong ways, nuclear material detector found with problems, criminals getting early release because of software glitches and citizens called multiple times by FBI through their online system are all some of the main examples of the major computer systems being failed and made disastrous attempts to hurt and kill human beings. These are some of the highly noticed issues but in the real world there are many other issues that are creating problems for the human beings and the regular social life. The computer programs are highly complicated and in the real implementation it is not possible that they would act as perfect as per required without any error. There are outnumbered causes of the flaws which are discussed but their solutions are under progress. The considered computer system failure which caused death of a worker in a manufacturing corporation due to an automated activity of a robot. The main aim of the paper is to discuss one of the major incident of computer software failure which caused the death of a worker.



The under discussion failure of the computer system that caused the death of a worker was the failing of security systems and inability of robot to detect human around him. The article chosen is available on TechRepublic which was published in the start of 2017. The robot was on his way to repair some manufacturing machines. Wanda Holbrook was working over there and was not expected to be present at the location of repair work assigned to the robot. The documents which were provided by the concerned department have explained that the safety systems were failed to work efficiently which was the cause of the incident. The robot was allowed to pass the safety gates as Wanda Holbrook was thought to be not in the specific chamber. It is also explained in the article that the human and robots are collectively working in the manufacturing companies for a long period of time and a death could be a tragedy which would be required to resolve so that there would be no such incident in the future to be handled (Forrest).

The husband of Wanda Holbrook have sued the robotics manufacturing corporation for the negligence and improper implementation of the system. Since all the system was automated and the mishap cases are very rare so, the court was unable to conclude the case in anyone’s favor so, a providence was made afterwards for Wanda’s husband. Some very good associations which are responsible for measuring the standards of accuracy and safety in the robotics implementation have also considered this issue and in very short they also explained that the standards of safety should be improved in all over the world. This would help in the growth of this field in a safe mode and no frequent disastrous incidents would happen as well. European Union also took notice and The New York Times have explained that in past 30 years there were 33 deaths which were only caused by the robotics.

Causes and responses

There were lots of multimillion dollar computer systems failed in all over the world and had worst economic, social and financial impact on the economy. Since these firms and corporations are completely dependent on the computer systems so it is completely impossible for them to move a single step without proper working on their internal software. There were a lot many concerns raised because of the worker being killed by a robot as well as outnumbered incidents in the past which were extremely cruel and inhuman. In past, the workers lost their body parts because of the machines mistakes excluding the human error at that moment. Making life easier was the goal of the scientists but this incident as well as many other minor and major issues resulted in company found under consideration of the legal offices for the solution of the problems.

All over the world after this incident, was found in an ambiguous situation that either the robotics field is safe for implementation and the automation of the machines or not. This ambiguity was supposed to be a drawback for the number of international corporations which were at that moment working and have invested great amounts in this field as the profit was certain. In the past, a number of different glitches were found but they were resolved with the help of improvements but there were no loss of life observed due to machine fault. In this case the artificial intelligence factor of failure (one in ten thousand cases) was observed. This death of worker due to the robot had a negative influence on the overall industry and resulted in an outnumbered noticed and unnoticed back offs.

Personal analysis

My own perception about the use of robots is positive and I would like to say that the overall industry could never be blamed of small incidents and disturbances. The robots should be used for the automation of different functions which are currently completed by the humans. This practice would be highly beneficial but because of the factors which are causing damage like the robot become a cause of death and injuries, it’s better to contrivance some safety precautions before implementing the systems.

In respect to the death of the worker, the perspective developed by this article is quite good but no satisfying the population in many different ways. Since the discussion is concluded with a perspective defined that the humans and robots are working for decades and in this long time period only 33 deaths were only because of the machine’s fault. As soon as the development and advancement of the technology will be seen, the safety concerns will also be increased and corporations will have to perform some addition safety measures which will help in minimizing the risk level of the workers and the humans around the automated machines.


In a nutshell it can be explained that the paper was discussing about the overall disastrous incidents happened only because of the major computer system failures. A news article was selected which was summarized and discussed its causes and effects on the overall robotics industry after the German company’s manufacturing wing’s robot killed a worker. The overall conclusion of the paper is that, there are many disasters happening in all over the world. Some are because of climatic changes and some because of human activities. The field of artificial intelligence and robotics (Computer systems) have given an uncountable benefit to the human species and have given ease in an outnumbered ways. Due to a few mishaps and problems, the industry could not be blamed. It is possible that a machine could have killed the worker but as we know these things are programmed at extreme levels which would may cause in a perfect activity turned to a disaster. The human life is worth more than anything else in the world and the loss is huge. The industry have updated its safety measures which would now help in saving the human beings from any kind of other problems cause by the machines or by themselves as well.

Works Cited

Forrest, Conner. “Robot Kills Worker On Assembly Line, Raising Concerns About Human-Robot Collaboration”. Techrepublic, 2017, Accessed 24 Mar 2018.



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