13 Scary Real Life Robot Attacks

While the thought of real life robot attacks sounds farfetched and brings a chuckle to many, the concept is not just a premise for science fiction films. Robot attack stories don’t start with the landing of a spaceship, or the handiwork of a mad scientist hell-bent on revenge. They usually start with someone having an ordinary day at work before everything changes in the blink of an eye - or with a prototype for a military weapons system that malfunctions and claims hundreds of lives.   
The theories of machines raging and rising up against man in a highly organized, large-scale war isn’t what we should be worried about. It’s the little things meant to protect us and simplify our lives, like automated cars, weapons, factory machines, and even robots used during medical procedures that have proven to be actual threats in these very real cases of robots attacking people.

  • Robot Surgeons Killed 144 People Between 2000 and 2013

    Adopting the use of robots for surgical procedures has become a widespread practice over the years and as with any surgical procedure, there are risks of complications and even death. A study carried out between 2000 and 2013 for the FDA calculated that during surgeries there have been 144 deaths, 1,391 injuries, and 8,061 robotic malfunctions.

    One of those deaths and 119 injuries were caused by pieces of the robots actually falling off and landing inside patients during the procedures. Two deaths and 52 injuries were caused by the robotic surgeon powering itself off or making miscalculated moves, and a whopping 193 injuries were the result of electrical sparks from the robo-surgeons burning the patients.
  • Ford Motors Assembly Line Robot Was the First to Kill

    Robert Williams was the first person in history to be killed by a robot, in January 1979. He was working on the Ford Motor Company casting plant line when the parts retrieval robot started to slow down. Williams decided to attempt to manually retrieve the parts when the 1-ton robotic arm lunged out and struck him across the head. He died instantly.
  • The Kawasaki Robot Rebellion in Japan

    Back in December 1981, an engineer named Kenji Urada was trying to fix a robot at the Kawasaki Heavy Industrial Plant in Japan, when it suddenly turned on him. The mechanical beast activated itself and used its hydraulic arm to shove Urada into the grinding machine.
  • A Robot Grabbed and Crushed a Man Working at a VW Plant

    In July 2015, at a Volkswagen Production Plant, a robot designed to grab and configure auto parts malfunctioned and attacked a 22-year-old man instead. The crazed robot grabbed him, picked him up, and crushed him up against a metal plate. The man suffered severe chest injuries and died in the hospital.
  • A Robotic Cannon Went on a Rampage in South Africa

    In October 2007 on the North Cape of Africa, a robotic cannon went on a rampage. This anti-aircraft cannon suddenly launched its own attack against the South African National Defense force. It emptied out its twin 250-round auto-loader magazines completely unprovoked, killing nine soldiers and wounding 14 more who struggled to get it under control.
  • A Robot Crushed a Man and Deleted the Evidence

    In 2006 a robotic workstation at Alliance Tech Systems went berserk on one of their employees. The robot, known as the “degator” pinned the man up against its own frame and crushed him. The man was found in a chokehold of sorts, pinned up against the degator, with his arm stretched out reaching for the reset button.

    Further upping the creep factor of this story, testing of the robot showed there were no malfunctions in any of its movements and there was no memory in its computer.