Ascento, a robotics start-up from ETH Zurich, has developed an autonomous two-wheeled robot that has been acting as a robot guard for Swiss security firm Securitas AG. The robot has been patrolling several sites for over six months, providing an added layer of security and enhancing operational efficiency. 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 robot can navigate rough terrain, bumps, steps, and even snow with its off-road tires. The thermal camera detects people and vehicles, while a 360-degree camera captures images of the surroundings. The robot can communicate via a live feed with a backup operator in a control center.
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. The robot guards allow a single human security guard to efficiently cover large outdoor areas that would require significant manpower to patrol in person. When operating, the robot can produce automatic daily security reports. The company says its robot guards are cheaper than hiring a human guard, but pricing depends on many factors.
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