Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Buffalo start-up develops automated system to detect fevers among returning employees

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 9th, 2020

A University of Buffalo (UB) start-up is developing a program to help organizations around the world navigate return-to-work plans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Buffalo Automation launched in 2015 with the mission of enabling ships and boats to drive themselves through an AI system known as AutoMate. In the wake of COVID-19, the start-up is adapting its technology to streamline the process of taking employees’ body temperatures as they return to their workplaces.

The company’s new Bifrost pilot program features thermal imaging devices that scan people from an indoor balcony as they walk past a revolving door below. Buffalo Automation is currently gathering data and validating the ability to perform long-range facial detection. In the next phase of the project, it will compare and validate temperature differences between facial features.

“Bifrost does not need super-expensive and periodically calibrated thermal cameras to work,” says Thiru Vikram, who founded the start-up as a UB undergraduate and now serves as CEO. “It is essentially a simple Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that makes an existing thermal-camera solution work just right and, most importantly, is a viable solution for scanning large crowds from a distance.”

If Bifrost detects a person who has a fever, a secondary screening will be conducted on that person using traditional methods. Overall, the system could streamline a tedious and expensive process that requires trained personnel and often results in people having to wait in line for individual screenings, regardless of whether or not they have a fever.

In addition, Bifrost ensures the privacy of employees by making its data anonymous and by using thermal images, which make it very difficult to recognize a person’s face.

Source: UB News Center

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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