Robotics startup Ascento has unveiled its latest autonomous outdoor security patrolling robot, the Ascento Guard, after securing a $4.3 million pre-seed funding round. Wingman Ventures and Playfair led the funding round, with key investors such as Tim Kentley-Klay, Founder of Zoox, Ryan Gariepy, CTO & Co-Founder of Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors, and Daniel Kottlarz, Founder of MYBOTSHOP, also participating. Notably, Ascento also received non-dilutive funding from the Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse and the European Space Agency incubator ESA BIC.
The Ascento Guard stands out with its unique wheel-leg design, enabling it to navigate various outdoor terrains with agility and stability. These robots have already covered over 3000 km patrolling large industrial sites since the beginning of this year. The clientele of Ascento includes significant players in outdoor warehouses, industrial manufacturing, and pharmaceutical campuses.
The new robot boasts a suite of security features, such as detecting unauthorized individuals, verifying perimeter security, checking door and window status, monitoring property lights, identifying potential floods and fires, and overseeing parking lots. It can move at a speed of 3.1 mph and has an autonomous charging system, allowing for continuous operation without human intervention. Companies can swiftly install and deploy the Ascento Guard within hours, with the option to hire it by the hour, akin to a human guard. This package also includes 24/7 support, service, and repairs.
Speaking on the release, Alessandro Morra, co-founder and CEO of Ascento, said,
“The Ascento Guard provides a solution to the pressing challenges faced by the security industry, from labor shortages to high staff turnover. By integrating the Ascento Guard with human security personnel, we can offer a more streamlined solution, with Ascento handling the majority of the tasks and humans focusing on the specific nuances.”
Highlighting the challenges of the security industry, which faces up to 47% annual staff turnover and a lack of qualified personnel, Morra added that the Ascento Guard blends the resilience of technical solutions while retaining the flexibility of human guards.
Originating from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Ascento was co-founded by Alessandro Morra, Miguel de la Iglesia Valls, Ciro Salzmann, and Dominik Mannhart. They merged their security guard experience with cutting-edge robotics technology. The company operates under a robots-as-a-service (RaaS) business model and has been experiencing significant growth, with a 70% month-over-month increase in fleet mileage since the beginning of 2023.
Chris Smith, Managing Partner at Playfair, weighed in on the investment, stating, "We envision a significant opportunity in the coming decade for robotics solutions addressing business challenges. Ascento’s blend of a world-class team and top-tier technology, combined with a vast global market facing labor and pricing pressures, presented a compelling investment opportunity for us.”
Technical Specifications of Ascento Guard Robot:
- Autonomous speed: 3.1 mph
- Weight: 66.1 lbs
- Size: Ranges from 19.7-35.43 in x 27.56 in x 19.69 in
- Runtime: 4.5 hours
- Equipped with: Thermal camera, Infrared camera, Microphone & Speakers, GPS, 4G, and Wifi.