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Amazon Australia uses ‘Distance Assistant’ technology in fulfilment centres

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Amazon Australia has deployed its ‘Distance Assistant’ technology across its Australian fulfilment centres and delivery stations to help employees maintain proper social distancing.

Distance Assistant reminds staff to be socially distanced by using machine learning models to differentiate people from their surroundings. Combined with depth sensors, it creates an accurate measurement between associates, and provides real-time social distancing feedback.

“With a safety-first approach, we have been investing in scalable technology solutions to prioritise the safety of our teams at all times. We are pleased to introduce this global innovation in Australia,” said Craig Fuller, Director of Operations, Amazon Australia.

“Social distancing is a learned behavior and ‘Distance Assistant’ will continue to enhance our safety practices and also empower our team to improve social distancing,” Fuller said.

“As our associates continue to deliver smiles to customers, we remain steadfast in our commitment to helping safeguard their health and will consistently expand our health and safety processes for our people,” he said.

Inspired by the ‘self-service’ radar speed check mechanism that reminds drivers on Australian roads to slow down by displaying their speed on a screen as they drive past, the Distance Assistant technology provides employees with live feedback on social distancing via a 50 inch monitor, a camera and a local computing device.

As people walk past the camera, the monitor displays a live video feed with visual cues to show them if they are within two metres of one another. The on-screen indicators are designed to remind staff to maintain appropriate distance from those around them. Those remaining two metres apart are highlighted with green circles, while those who are closer than two metres are highlighted in yellow and then red circles.

To support our communities, Amazon has open sourced the software behind this innovation so that anyone can create their own ‘Distance Assistant’. Individuals and businesses large and small in Australia can download the package at no cost and get up and running with a monitor, computer and camera.

Source: Amazon Australia 

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