Wearable social distancing device created by UK robotics company

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Northumberland-based robotics company Tharsus Group has developed a social distancing system which alerts wearers if they get too close.

Bump is a peer-to-peer wearable device that will beep if employees move within two metres of each other. Tharsus said this would ensure everyone is practicing social distancing allowing business to return to work safely.

Devices have been developed to be worn in designated workspaces, such as offices, warehouses, laboratories, manufacturing centres and canteens.

The wearable device uses radio frequency technology to communicate with other devices and a central hub. The hub recognises when wearers are in the building, and automatically downloads information about any contacts a device has had with other wearers.

These interactions are also recorded providing data insights, which enables employers to make workplace capacity arrangements. In the event of an outbreak, it would also assist in tracking employees.

Devices have been developed to be worn in designated workspaces, such as warehouses, laboratories and manufacturing centres.

The data produced by Bump is limited to the time, severity and frequency of interactions, fully encrypted, and only available to individual wearers and employers.

According to Tharsus, this data-led approach allows employers to make quick decisions about what to do next, ensuring factories, offices, warehouses, or laboratories can continue running at highest possible capacity. The company also said it allows employees to feel safe within a workplace.

Brian Palmer, Chief Executive of Tharsus, said: “This is the first time in living memory that people have been told to socially distance for their own safety. At the same time, the pandemic has forced businesses to re-consider their responsibility as employers, with the health of workforces now more than ever one of the most important metrics facing leadership teams.

“We have created Bump to solve these two issues – to give people the help they need to stay distanced and safe and provide employers with the assurances they need so they can operate responsibly.”

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