Amazon’s Lab126, the hardware group known for developing the company’s Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Echo smart speakers, is now working on the company’s COVID-19 testing technology. Each team at Amazon’s Lab126 is taking the project seriously and hoping to come out with the best result. To pace up its COVID-19 testing initiative, the company is also planning to hire mechanical design engineers, scientists, and lab assistants.
At present Amazon is in contract with the existing labs to process nasal swabs and saliva samples of its workforce for the novel Coronavirus test.
The company will use the new hires to build a robust testing network with a central testing hub for its employees.
The company listing says “With the recent Covid-19 pandemic, Lab126 has been tasked with helping to keep Fulfillment Center’s safe for employees. The new roles will be responsible for defining, implementing, and qualifying equipment and automation to support Amazon’s COVID-19 Testing initiative.”
The company has set a plan in place. It will fly samples of employees from Amazon warehouses from all over the US to the testing lab for processing. For this, the Amazon will be using self-managed air cargo jets. Lab126’s Sunnyvale office is in the process of hiring microbiologists and other medical researchers, and non-engineering medical-related roles dedicated to the setting up a multi-state medical testing network.
Amazon a few days back had said it plans to spend at least USD 300 million on testing efforts by the end of June. The company also that it has in place a USD 4 billion commitment to tackle with the Covid-19 pandemic.
A top executive remarked, “Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees, and we expect to invest approximately USD 4 billion from April to June on COVID-related initiatives getting products to customers and keeping employees safe. This includes spending more than USD 800 million in the first half of the year on COVID-19 safety measures.”
As per the information received from reports Amazon is also making face shields for frontline workers with the help of its robotics group. A team is also working on Amazon’s drone delivery project and warehouse robotics. The Robotics engineers at Amazon are in the process of developing machines top help the warehouse workers to reduce human contact.
Further reports say that the warehouses now have security bots that are equipped with ultraviolet light-emitting techniques to disinfect the areas. The company has also set several cameras in the warehouses to monitor violations of social distancing guidelines.
Amazon is one of the few eCommerce firms to be operational even during lockdowns. The financial reports suggest that the company’s services have expanded during COVID-19 closure as people have been relying more on eCommerce businesses for their deliveries.
Amazon last month had come under flak as warehouse workers and whistleblowers had accused the company of not properly communicating Covid-19 infections among its workforce and continued operating without pausing warehouse operations for deep cleans or sanitization.
The company that time refused to disclose the number of workers who have tested positive for Coronavirus or died because of it whereas media reports claim that the number of Covid-19 deaths at Amazon facilities stands at 8 last week.
Lab126 started operations in 2004 as a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., originally creating the best-selling Kindle products. Since then, they have produced devices like Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Amazon Show.