Kenji Urada (c. 1944 – July 4, 1981) was a Japanese engineer who was one of the first persons reported to have been killed by a robot.
Urada was maintenance engineer at a Kawasaki Heavy Industries plant. While working on a broken robot, he failed to turn it off completely, resulting in the robot pushing him into a grinding machine with its hydraulic arm. He died as a result. The circumstances of his death were not made public until December 8, after an investigation by the labor standards bureau was completed.
Urada is often said to be the first person killed by a robot. However, Robert Williams, a worker at a Ford Motor Company factory in Michigan, was killed by a robot two years earlier, on January 25, 1979.
- "Killer robot: Japanese worker first victim of technological revolution", Deseret News (Salt Lake City UT), December 8, 1981, p1
- Trust me, I'm a robot, The Economist, June 8, 2006; accessed online 6-III-2007.
- Smart software helps robots dodge collisions, Duncan Graham-Rowe, article on newscientist.com dated November 3, 2003, accessed 6-III-2007.
- "Robot kills worker", Milwaukee Journal, December 8, 1981, p2
- Robot firm liable in death, Tim Kiska, The Oregonian, August 11, 1983.
- Death on the job: Jury awards $10 million to heirs of man killed by robot at auto plant, Tim Kiska, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 11, 1983.
- Death-by-robot yields award of $15 million, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 14, 1984.
- $10 Million Awarded To Family Of U.S. Plant Worker Killed By Robot", Ottawa Citizen, August 11, 1983, p14
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