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Future is nigh: Switzerland introduces robot guards

An autonomous two-wheeled robot developed by Ascento, a robotics start-up from ETH Zurich, has been acting as a robot guard for Swiss security firm Securitas AG, which has tested it at several sites including a railway depot in Switzerland.

Ascento’s robot guards have been patrolling the sites for over six months, providing an added layer of security and enhancing operational efficiency, according to the Swiss-based company.

The Ascento robot is a combination of bipedal and wheeled locomotion, with a “head” that houses the computer, battery, sensors, and cloud-based AI.

The Ascento robot, which is based on a student's idea, can move anywhere a human can, even over uneven terrain and obstacles. 🦿[email protected]_robot #Ascento #Robots #Robotics #SwissInnovation #ETHZurich

— ETH Zurich (@ETH_en) April 5, 2023

The robot can navigate rough terrain, bumps, steps, and even snow with its off-road tires.

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It can go over flat terrain, it can go over obstacles, it can even go [up] one or two steps and this is because we use wheels and legs,” Alessandro Morra, the CEO and founder of Ascento who previously worked as a security guard at ETH Zurich said.

“We did this job ourselves and it’s really brutal,” Morra stressed. “We wanted to help and our robots are able to make the life of these guards a lot easier,” he added.

The company says its robot guards allow a single human security guard to efficiently cover large outdoor areas that would require significant manpower to patrol in person.

The thermal camera detects people and vehicles, while a 360 camera captures images of the surroundings. The robot can communicate via a live feed with a backup operator in a control center.

When operating the robot can produce automatic daily security reports.

Ascento began life as an ETH Zurich project to create a robot that could jump, but discussions with the industry revealed a demand for a larger, more robust robot.

Bigger, faster, stronger: This is Ascento Pro! Ascento Robotics' newest creation can climb full flights of stairs, drive at up to 12km/h and all this for up to 8h per battery charge. Oh and also it is now autonomous.

Video source: Ascento Robotics#robotics #robot #autonomous

— Wevolver (@WevolverApp) March 8, 2023

While pricing depends on many factors, the company says it would be less than a human guard.

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