The first industrial robot was invented in 1954 by George C. Devol Jr. and was put into service for the first time in 1961 at General Motors . The first fatal accident occurred in 1979 . End of 2011 already more than 1.1 million robots were in use, thereof approximately 370,000 in Europe and about 157,000 in Germany .
Because of requirements, not only within the European market, on the safety of machines, most of these robots carry out their service behind rigid fences. With the approval of laser scanners for safety applications in 1998  and the camera system "SafetyEye" in 2006  some of the rigid fences could be replaced by electro-sensitive protective equipment. But these invisible fences also separate operator and robot along a given rigid border.