Responding to the need for technologies to slow the spread of Covid-19, SICK has developed PeopleCounter and DistanceGuard SensorApps which help to ensure that people keep to the recommended distance apart in working and public spaces.
The SICK PeopleCounter is a SensorApp based on a machine learning algorithm running on SICK’s MRS1000 3D LiDAR sensor. One or more sensors can be easily set up to count people at entry and exit points, or allow users to control the number of people occupying a pre-defined area in real time. Because the system can reliably detect human contours, while ignoring other objects, customers or workers are counted accurately as they enter or leave buildings or other pre-defined spaces.
The PeopleCounter works by using a specially-developed on-board algorithm to evaluate the point-cloud data generated by the MRS1000. Because the SensorApp can use data from the MRS1000’s four 275° scanning layers to determine direction of movement, the number of people in a monitored area can be updated in real time. The system can identify more than one person in parallel independent of their direction (In or Out) within a range of up to 3.5 m.
As it only sees the human outline, the SICK PeopleCounter is able to process data at high-speeds and is completely anonymous with no need to detect or record any personal location or identification data. A master/slave mode makes it possible to combine several LiDAR Scanners to track larger areas with multiple entry and exit points, such as shopping centres, airports or stations.
With eight multifunctional digital input/output connections on the device, the system can easily be set up to keep track of the number of people via mobile, PC and cloud-based systems, as well as integrating with wider controls or security systems where necessary.
SICK’s Social DistanceGuard App works on the SICK TiM 2D LiDAR Sensor to monitor areas where the recommended distance between people must be upheld, e.g. in a queue, and provide an alert if they are too close. A signal, in the form of a light, audible alarm, or visual signal is triggered as soon as the distance between two people falls short of the minimum.
The on-device settings can be used to input or change the required distance at any time. The presence of people can be detected and evaluated thanks to the SICK TiM’s 270° scanning capability and range up to 25 metres.
SICK’s UK Product Manager for Imaging, Measurement and Ranging, Neil Sandhu commented: “SICK’s rapid response to develop social distance monitoring technologies was enabled by the versatility of the AppSpace software development platform that facilitates the rapid development of plug-and-play solutions.
“When combined with SICK’s programmable, high-performance LiDAR scanning technology, the result is simple, self-contained devices that are quick to install, and easy for customers to integrate into wider customer control or monitoring systems.
“We’d be delighted to hear from any customers who have ideas for further applications that could be adapted to provide technology solutions during the current pandemic.”