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Making robots safer for us

Cobotect GmbH, is using the decades-old concept of airbags to cushion potentially dangerous automated parts

Oliver Sachgau 

Two years ago, a robot crushed a 22-year-old man to death at a Volkswagen factory in Germany after the maintenance worker got trapped in an area usually off-bound to humans. While this type of tragedy is still relatively rare, efforts to improve safety are intensifying as factories around the world become increasingly automated. Now, in a development that’s drawn interest from car makers including Volkswagen, entrepreneurs Roman Weitschat and Hannes Hoeppner, working at the German Aerospace Center outside of Munich, say they have designed a way to better safeguard interactions between ...

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First Published: Mon, September 18 2017. 22:00 IST