Adela,  Americas,  United States

The first death by Robot

Robert Williams was 25 and worked as an American engineer for the Ford Motor Company factory in Flat Rock, Michigan.

He was killed by an industrial robot arm on January 25, 1979 when he was struck in the head and killed by the arm of a 1-ton production-line robot as he was gathering parts in a storage facility. The robot was part of a parts-retrieval system that moved material from one part of the factory to another; when the robot began running slowly, Williams reportedly climbed into the storage rack to retrieve parts manually when he was struck in the head and killed instantly.

His family sued the manufacturers of the robot, Litton Industries, for a total of $15 million dollars, the court concluded that there simply were not enough safety measures in place to prevent such an accident from happening.