Amazon rolling out Distance Assistant to keep workers a safe distance from each other

The tool could roll out to other businesses as Amazon shares details behind the tech
Posted at 7:10 AM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 09:10:13-04

It appears Amazon is taking steps to keep their warehouse workers safer, as they roll out a new tool to make sure their staff remains a safe distance from one another.

The 'Distance Assistant' uses cameras, sensors, and artificial intelligence (AI) to track when workers are too close to each other and are at risk of spreading COVID-19.

You can see a video of the new tool in action here.

Amazon says as people walk past the camera, a monitor displays live video with visual overlays to show if associates are within 6 feet of one another.

Those that are remaining 6 feet apart are highlighted with green circles, while those who are closer together are highlighted with red circles.

Amazon says the on-screen indicators are designed to remind and encourage workers to stay an appropriate distance from others.

The e-commerce giant says the Distance Assistant only needs a standard electrical outlet and can be quickly installed at building entrances and other high traffic areas.

Their first Distance Assistant installations are now live at a handful of their buildings.

No word yet on if any are installed at Amazon warehouses in Utah, but Amazon says it will be deploying hundreds of these units over the next few weeks.

They also say they are in the beginning stages of open-sourcing the software and AI behind this new tool, so anyone can create their own Distance Assistant in their business.

This all comes while Amazon is being sued for allegedly failing to protect workers from COVID-19.