This patrolling security robot wants to guard your premises

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A Swiss startup has unveiled a solution to the global shortage of security guards: an autonomous patrol robot.

Named the Ascento Guard, the two-wheeled sentinel is equipped with thermal and infrared cameras, speakers, a microphone, and GPS tracking. The bidepal design promises all-terrain mobility, fall recovery from any position, and top speeds of 5km/h.

Using these features, the Ascento Guard can spot trespassers, monitor parking lots, and record property lights. It can also identify floods and fires, as well as check that doors and windows are closed.

When an incident is detected, an alarm is sent to an operator. Only then is a human security guard sent onsite to take action.

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The bot is the brainchild of Ascento, a Zurich-based developer of bipedal security robots. Alessandro Morra, the startup’s CEO, told TNW that Ascento Guard is designed for large outdoor premises. 

Instead of installing many fixed cameras or sending human guards in harsh weather conditions and at night for patrol, Ascento Guard can secure the assets,” he said.

The Ascento co-founders: Dominik-Mannhart, Alessandro-Morra, Ciro Salzmann, Miguel de la Iglesia Valls
Ascento co-founders (left to right) Dominik-Mannhart, Alessandro-Morra, Ciro Salzmann, and Miguel de la Iglesia Valls. Credit: Ascento

Ascento’s founding team combines experience as security guards with robotics expertise honed at ETH Zurich, a renowned research university.

Their inventions have been deployed at large outdoor warehouses, industrial manufacturing sites, and pharma campuses. Since the start of this year, the robots have secured over 3,000 km of outdoor premises.

The Ascento Guard is the latest addition to the portfolio. According to its creators, the bot can be installed and deployed within a few hours.

Just like a human security officer, the Ascento Guard can be hired by the hour. Autonomous charging will then keep the device running at speeds of up to 5km/h.

A picture of the Ascento web interface, which shows surveillance statistics including the location of any incidents
Operators can monitor the surveillance in a web interface. Credit: Ascento

A companion app extends the robot’s capabilities. The app integrates with existing video management systems, offers end-to-end encrypted two-way communication, and generates security reports.

Morra is particularly excited about the system’s AI analytics. He envisions them identifying suspicious patterns, such as specific locations and times of incidents, or cars that consistently park in distinctive places.

“This robot design is just the beginning,” Morra said. “We are seeing multiple opportunities for how we can complement our robot to offer an indoor, aerial application integration of our technology.”

The live view of the web interface, which shows footage from cameras at the left, back, and front of the premises, as well as readings from a thermal camera
The web interface also provides a live view of footage from the cameras. Credit: Ascento

Alongside the new robot launch, Ascento today announced that it’s received another $4.3mn in funding. The pre-seed round was led by VC firms Wingman Ventures and Playfair Capital.

You can review their investment for yourself by watching the video below: