Robot attacked engineer at Tesla factory during malfunction

  • A robot attacked a worker at Giga Texas, pinning the engineer before sinking its claws into his back and arm
  • The incident – which left the victim with an open wound – was revealed in a 2021 injury report filled to Travis County and federal regulators
  • It’s the first robot-related injury reported at the company’s Texas factory, however, an attorney aiding contract workers claims there’s evidence Tesla under-reported accidents to state regulators

Published on Dec 27, 2023 at 2:32 PM (UTC+4)
by Adam Gray

Last updated on Dec 28, 2023 at 1:22 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

Robot attacked engineer at Tesla factory during malfunction

A software engineer at a Tesla factory was left with serious injuries after he was attacked by a malfunctioning robot.

Two witnesses watched in horror as the machine, designed to move aluminum car parts, attacked their fellow coworker at the company’s factory near Austin.

The robot pinned the man then sank its metal claws into the his back and arm, leaving a trail of blood along the floor.

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Apparently the engineer was programming software that controls robots whose job it is to cut car parts from freshly cast pieces of aluminum.

But while two of the bots were disabled so that the engineer could work on the machines, a third robot was left on, resulting in the attack.

As the bleeding engineer attempted to wrestle free from the robot’s grasp, another worker hit an emergency ‘stop’ button to end the attack.

Once free, the engineer fell ‘a couple of feet down a chute designed to collect scrap aluminum, leaving a trail of blood behind him,’ according to subscription-based tech news site, The Information.

The incident – which left the victim with an open wound on his left hand – was revealed in a 2021 injury report filed to Travis County and federal regulators.

The injury, however, wasn’t severe enough to require the employee to take time off from work.

It’s the first time a robot-related injury has been reported to regulators by Tesla at the Texas factory.

However, an attorney who represents Tesla’s Giga Texas contract workers told she believes, based on her conversations with workers there, that the number of injuries suffered at the factory is going underreported.

This underreporting, the attorney said, even included the September 28, 2021 death of a construction worker, who had been contracted to help build the factory itself.

“My advice would be to read that report with a grain of salt,” the attorney, Hannah Alexander of the nonprofit Workers Defense Project, told 

“We’ve had multiple workers who were injured,” Alexander said, “and one worker who died, whose injuries or death are not in these reports that Tesla is supposed to be accurately completing and submitting to the county in order to get tax incentives.”

# Tags - Tech, Tesla


Adam Gray

Adam Gray is an experienced motoring journalist and content creator based in the United Kingdom. Using his media accreditation with manufacturers’ press offices, Adam test drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches, producing written reviews and news pieces for Before joining the Supercar Blondie team, Adam was Motoring Editor for Portfolio North magazine, North East Motoring Editor at Reach plc, and provided motoring content on a freelance basis to several lifestyle and business publications in the North of England. When he’s not behind the wheel of the latest car, Adam can be found at his local rink playing ice hockey or supporting his beloved Middlesbrough FC.