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ARX Robotics raises €9M seed funding to fill Europe’s gap in autonomous military vehicles

ARX Robotics
Image credit: ARX Robotics

ARX Robotics, a Munich-based company specialising in scalable robotic systems for both defence and commercial applications, has announced the successful closure of a €9 million seed funding round. This marks the largest seed funding round ever for a European DefenceTech company.

ARX was founded by a team of former soldiers who transitioned into entrepreneurship. This unique combination of military expertise, engineering skills, and business acumen is embodied by co-founders Marc Wietfeld, Stefan Röbel, and Maximilian Wied.

Back in March, we had also reported about Broswarm, a military tech startup that raised $100K to combat landmine crisis in Ukraine with drones. It’s a good read too.

The new funding round will be utilised to expand the ARX team and scale production capabilities within Europe. The investment is led by the NATO Innovation Fund, with participation from Project A Ventures and Discovery Ventures. This strong investor base positions ARX to fulfil its mission of contributing to European technological resilience and defence sovereignty.

The funding surge comes amid growing concerns about Europe’s preparedness for an increasingly technology-driven battlefield. European armed forces lack the critical mass of autonomous unmanned ground systems (UGVs) needed to compete with potential adversaries. ARX aims to bridge this gap by developing and supplying robust, scalable robotic solutions that support and safeguard troops in various mission-critical tasks.

Modular design underpins diverse applications

At the core of ARX’s technology lies the GEREON series of modular UGVs. These adaptable platforms can be readily customised for a range of defence scenarios, including live fire training, medical evacuation, reconnaissance missions with specialised sensors, and transport. The modularity allows for on-site configuration with various add-on and payload options, ensuring versatility for diverse battlefield needs.

“Western armies are not fully prepared for the realities of robotic warfare. To significantly enhance troop capabilities and serve as a force multiplier, a substantial number of interconnected, autonomous UGVs are essential. These systems need to be readily manufactured across Europe and deployable on a large scale. ARX is committed to contributing to European technological sovereignty by ramping up production, generating software-defined systems, and developing adaptable hardware to meet the growing demand for robust and autonomous unmanned systems.”

What are its commercial applications

The GEREON robots have already undergone testing and deployment with several European armed forces, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and Ukraine. These exercises have demonstrated their effectiveness in enhancing soldiers’ situational awareness during training scenarios. Additionally, battlefield experiences are continuously incorporated into the ongoing development cycle of the GEREON platform.

Beyond military applications, ARX robots can be deployed as multi-functional tools in various commercial and humanitarian settings. Their autonomous capabilities can be leveraged to enhance workplace safety and improve workforce efficiency. Potential applications include infrastructure surveillance using sensors and transportation support in disaster zones or challenging terrain.

Unique selling points of ARX’s technology

ARX’s competitive edge lies in its unique blend of robust hardware, modular design, and cutting-edge software. This allows for the rapid development of cost-effective UGVs for single or multi-use purposes. The adaptable platforms can be seamlessly configured in the field without tools within minutes.

ARX software integrates off-the-shelf hardware components with artificial intelligence to create intelligent, networked robots. Software updates are conducted wirelessly over-the-air, ensuring continuous improvement and adaptability.

Chris O’Connor, representing the NATO Innovation Fund, acknowledges the critical role of ARX’s technology and said, “We are honoured to support ARX and to help them scale production across Europe. Ground autonomy remains a complex challenge in the future of unmanned warfare. Informed by their military service, the ARX team has developed a leading, cost-effective, and modular ground system ideal for mass production and deployment in defence, humanitarian crises, and beyond.”

Uwe Horstmann of Project A Ventures highlights the early recognition of ARX’s potential, saying, “We have been impressed by ARX’s potential since the early stages, supporting their initial ideation process and leading their pre-seed funding round. Autonomous robots are poised to be a game-changer in terms of increasing safety, efficiency, and capabilities. The ARX 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.”

What we think about the startup

ARX Robotics’ significant seed funding round underscores the growing importance of autonomous technologies in modern warfare. The company’s modular design, adaptable software, and focus on European production position it to play a key role in filling the gap in Europe’s autonomous UGV capabilities. It remains to be seen how ARX’s technology will evolve and be integrated into European defence strategies in the years to come.

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