Amazon engineers behind Kindle, Echo working on Covid-19 testing tools

 The Amazon team behind products like Kindle e-readers and Echo smart home speakers is now working on to build Covid-19 testing capabilities.

Amazon’s hardware group Lab126 is hiring engineers to work on its coronavirus testing initiative, according to job listings reported by GeekWire.

In a series of job posts, the ecommerce giant is looking for new Lab126 mechanical design engineers to “investigate and introduce new technology and methodology to enhance quality and efficiency of Covid-19 testing,” among other responsibilities.

“Lab126 is based in Silicon Valley, but the posts indicate these jobs are located in Hebron, Ky., where Amazon is separately hiring lab assistants, scientists and others for its COVID-19 testing programme,” said the report.

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has made it clear that the company’s Covid-19 response will be a major new initiative.

Amid the call to shut its warehouses and protect front-line employees from the COVID-19 disease, Amazon recently announced to build its own coronavirus testing lab and test more employees at its warehouses and other facilities.

According to the company, a team of Amazonians with a variety of skills from research scientists and programme managers to procurement specialists and software engineers have moved from their normal day jobs onto a dedicated team to work on this initiative.

“We have begun assembling the equipment we need to build our first lab and hope to start testing small numbers of our front line employees soon,” Amazon said in a statement.

To date, Amazon has made over 150 process changes at sites around the world to ensure the health and safety of its teams.

Covid-19 claimed the life of another Amazon warehouse worker in the US last week, amid demand for enhanced safety measures for the e-commerce giant’s employees.

The latest victim became the eighth Amazon warehouse worker in the US to have lost life due to complications from Covid-19, although the e-commerce giant did not disclose the exact numbers.