ARX raises €9M to fill NATO’s robotics gap

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ARX Robotics, a manufacturer of scalable robotic systems for defence and commercial applications, has successfully closed a €9 million seed funding round, marking the largest seed funding round to date for a European DefenceTech company.

ARX aims to address a critical gap in Europe’s and the Western Allies’ autonomous unmanned systems, essential for future-proofing armed forces in a rapidly-evolving landscape. ARX robotic systems provide a robust and scalable solution designed to support and protect troops in mission-critical tasks.

At the core of ARX’s offering is the modular GEREON unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) series. These vehicles can be outfitted for various defence scenarios, including live fire training and simulation, transport and medical evacuation, and specialised sensor applications in reconnaissance missions. The modular design allows for a wide range of mission-specific configurations, providing flexibility with add-on and payload solutions.

“The armies of Western democracies are not prepared for robotic warfare. To significantly enhance the capabilities of our armed forces and serve as a force multiplier, an interconnected critical mass of autonomous unmanned ground systems is required. These systems must be simple to manufacture in a decentralised manner and deployable in critical mass,” says Marc Wietfeld, CEO and Co-Founder of ARX.

“ARX is committed to contributing to European technological sovereignty by scaling up the production of these systems, generating software-defined systems, and developing adaptive hardware to meet the demand for robust and autonomous unmanned systems.”

GEREON robots are already in service and tested by several European armies, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and Ukraine. In training scenarios, these robots have introduced a new dimension of situational awareness for soldiers, with battlefield experiences continuously integrated into development cycles.

Beyond defence, ARX robots can also serve in various commercial and humanitarian roles, enhancing the safety and efficiency of workforces. They can autonomously surveil critical infrastructure with sensors and assist with transport in disaster areas and rough terrain.

ARX combines robust hardware, modular design, and cutting-edge software to create cost-effective unmanned ground systems for single or multi-use purposes. These adaptable platforms can be configured in the field within minutes, without tools, and ARX software incorporates off-the-shelf hardware components and artificial intelligence to create intelligent, networked robots, with software updates conducted over-the-air.

Founded by soldiers-turned-entrepreneurs Marc Wietfeld, Stefan Röbel, and Maximilian Wied, ARX benefits from a unique blend of military knowledge, engineering skills, and business experience. The new funding round, led by the NATO Innovation Fund with support from Project A Ventures and Discovery Ventures, will be used to expand the team and scale production capabilities in Europe.

“We are honoured to support ARX and help them scale production across Europe. As the need to prepare for a future of unmanned warfare continues, ground autonomy remains a difficult problem to solve,” explains Chris O’Connor from the NATO Innovation Fund.

“Informed by insights from serving in the armed forces, the team at ARX has developed a leading, cost-effective, modular ground system that can be mass-produced and easily deployed in defence, humanitarian crises, and beyond.”

Uwe Horstmann of Project A Ventures adds, “We believed in ARX’s potential early on, when we supported their ideation process in our Studio and subsequently led their pre-seed round. Autonomous robots will be a game changer in terms of increasing safety, efficiency, and capabilities.

“The team has demonstrated a remarkable ability to address robust and modular ground robotics at scale in dual-use scenarios for both government and civil customers.”

See also: Magic Leap partners with Google in renewed AR push

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