In 2021, an engineer was programming the software that controls manufacturing robots at Tesla’s Austin, Texas, factory when something went wrong.
Two of the robots, which cut car parts from freshly cast pieces of aluminum, were disabled so the engineer and his teammates could safely work on the machines. A third one, which grabbed and moved the car parts, was inadvertently left operational, according to two people who watched it happen. As that robot ran through its normal motions, it pinned the engineer against a surface, pushing its claws into his body and drawing blood from his back and his arm, the two people said.
After another worker hit an emergency stop button, the engineer maneuvered his way out of the robot’s grasp, falling a couple of feet down a chute designed to collect scrap aluminum and leaving a trail of blood behind him, one of the witnesses said.