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Swedish factory fined $3,000 for robot attack

Sigurd! Klaatu barada nikto!

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ROTM Evil geniuses take note: a near-fatal robot attack only costs an organization about $3,000 in Sweden these days.

Swede online rag The Local has reported that a factory north of Stockholm has been fined 25,000 kronor (£2,100) after a malfunctioning bot nearly killed one of its workers.

The robo-assault reportedly took place in 2007, when a man attempted to repair a defective machine used to lift rocks without properly checking the power supply beforehand. And unfortunately, the human head isn't all that different than a big juicy rock to such a robot.

Unsympathetic to the worker's accidental lack of proper lock-out/tag-out procedure, the machine dutifully latched on to the man's head and went about its work. The man managed to "defend himself" from the robot, according to The Local, but not before suffering serious injuries.

"The man was very lucky. He broke four ribs and came close to losing his life," public prosecutor Leif Johansson told the news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå.

Johansson had considered pressing charges against the company, but recently concluded a simple fine should do.

"I've never heard of a robot attacking somebody like this," he said.

Johansson reportedly blamed the company for inadequate safety procedures, but saved some share of the guilt for the injured worker.

The robot apparently got off scot-free for his brief - but no doubt satisfying - revenge against its fleshy overlords. ®

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