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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.

SICK PeopleCounter

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 DistanceGuard

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 within the SICK TiM’s 270° LiDAR scanning range.

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.”

For more information please contact Andrea Hornby on 01727 831121 or email


SICK is a global leader in sensors and sensing systems for factory automation, logistics automation and process control. SICK’s comprehensive product portfolio encompasses sensors, encoders, machinery safety, machine vision and auto-identification in use by customers all over the world. Established for over 70 years, SICK products range from simple optical devices through to embedded intelligent systems, ready to meet the needs of Industry 4.0.

SICK sensors: At the heart of automation

SICK is one of the world’s leaders in sensors and sensing technologies for factory automation, logistics automation and process control.

SICK’s comprehensive product portfolio encompasses sensors, encoders, machinery safety, machine vision and auto-identification. The company also provides process instrumentation for gas and fluid flow and for chemical and pollutant detection.

From simple optical sensors and barcode readers to complex safety systems; from machine vision to emissions monitoring, SICK’s intelligent sensor solutions facilitate advanced automation and process control.

SICK products are designed with simplicity of installation and operation in mind. They help customers to achieve greater reliability and productivity, increased production flexibility and more efficient use of resources.

Founded in Germany more than 70 years ago, SICK employs more than 7,400 employees worldwide. The company invests heavily in research and development and is leading the way in smart sensor development to support Industry 4.0 objectives.

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