In response to the growing shortage of security guards, Zurich-based startup Ascento has developed autonomous security patrolling robots known as Ascento Guards. These innovative robots are equipped with a unique wheel-leg design that allows them to traverse a variety of terrains, making them ideal for large industrial sites. Ascento Guards are capable of performing repetitive tasks such as perimeter checks and can alert human security guards when necessary. Since the beginning of this year, these robots have covered an impressive distance of 3,000 kilometers for outdoor security purposes.
Ascento’s autonomous security robots, known as Ascento Guards, are transforming the security industry by complementing the work of human security guards. With their advanced capabilities, these innovative robots can perform tedious tasks and enhance security measures, significantly reducing the burden on human guards. Ascento’s successful funding round and expanding team demonstrate the increasing demand for their robots in various sectors.
The recent announcement of a $4.3 million funding round, led by Wingman Ventures and Playfair Capital, highlights the growing significance of Ascento’s robots in the security industry. Investors include renowned figures such as Tim Kentley-Klay, founder of Amazon-acquired Zoox, as well as Clearpath CTO and co-founder Ryan Gariepy. The startup, originally launched as a project at ETH Zurich in 2018, now consists of a 10-person team and is actively hiring for sales and operations positions to expand its fleet of Ascento Guards.
Enhancing Security Measures with Autonomous Robots
Ascento’s robots are capable of performing crucial yet monotonous tasks that are essential for maintaining security. These tasks include verifying perimeters, identifying openings or holes in fences, detecting thermal anomalies, monitoring property lights, ensuring parking lots are clear, and even detecting floods or fires. Whenever a security threat is detected, such as an intruder, the Ascento App immediately sends an alert to human security guards. This application also integrates with existing video management systems, enabling seamless communication and providing end-to-end encryption for enhanced security.
Ascento CEO Alessandro Morro proudly states that Ascento is the second wheel-legged balancing robot in the world, following the pioneering work of Boston Dynamics. Videos showcasing the abilities of Ascento’s robots quickly became viral sensations, accumulating millions of views. The unprecedented response resulted in a surge of requests from various industries interested in utilizing the robots. The Ascento team even validated their concept by working as security guards themselves, ensuring that their robots can indeed perform all the necessary checks and controls, including perimeter and parking inspections.
One of the key advantages of Ascento’s wheel-legged design is its ability to navigate any terrain that humans can, while conserving battery power with minimal hardware requirements. The robots’ wheels are attached to folding legs, enabling them to traverse stairs and uneven surfaces with ease.
Ascento currently offers their robots and software on an hourly basis, catering to companies with large properties that require daily patrolling, including manufacturing, logistics, pharma, and luxury companies. The Swiss railway infrastructure, for instance, relies on Ascento Guards to ensure that no doors are left open, no cars are parked overnight, and there are no emergencies such as floods, fires, or intrusions. Another example is a large pharma campus that utilizes the robots for patrolling 86 kilometers per week, guaranteeing the security of their fences, doors, lights, and video systems.
While Ascento faces competition from U.S.-based companies such as Cobalt and Knightscope, their focus on large industrial areas and their robots’ versatility in handling different terrains set them apart. CEO Alessandro Morro envisions the future expansion of Ascento’s technology beyond their wheel-legged design, aiming to integrate indoor and aerial applications with their existing robot capabilities. By leveraging AI and analyzing captured data, Ascento aims to provide valuable insights, including incident location and timing, as well as identifying recurring issues such as unauthorized parking.
With the rapid advancement of autonomous technology, Ascento’s autonomous security robots are revolutionizing the role of security guards, offering increased efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. As the demand for seamless security solutions continues to rise, Ascento is poised to play a key role in shaping the future of the industry.