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ARGO UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLES: PIONEERING THE INNOVATION BEHIND AMPHIBIOUS ROBOTIC VEHICLES

Posted Jul 13, 2021

July 13th, 2021 Analytics insight

ARGO UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLES: PIONEERING THE INNOVATION BEHIND AMPHIBIOUS ROBOTIC VEHICLES


How did a company go from making custom gears to collaborating with the Canadian Space Agency?

Does the thought of an on-road vehicle transform into an on-water vehicle sound futuristic to you? Then this interview will fascinate you. The concept of amphibious robotic vehicles, vehicles that go on land and in water, has been in existence for many decades now, with the earliest model dating back to the 1770s. To know more about this lesser-known industry, we were in conversation with ARGO, an innovative robotics company with over 50 years of history. Here’s how the interview panned out.

A Brief About ARGO Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV)

What started as a manufacturer of custom gears and transmission assemblies, ARGO’s vehicle division was established in 1967. For over 50 years the company has been the leader in off-road amphibious vehicles. Its first amphibious vehicle, the six-wheeled “swamp buggy” was powered by ARGO’s own transmission. ARGO is a vertically integrated company that has pushed the boundaries of what is possible with purpose-built components throughout the vehicles. From custom-built chassis to transmissions manufactured in-house, ARGO provides an end-to-end solution for every off-road application.

A Mission Fueled with Innovation

When asked about the company’s history and its core mission, Brad Darling, CEO, and President had an interesting story to tell. After the initial years of manufacturing gears and transmissions, and later launching its first six-wheel amphibious off-road Extreme terrain vehicle, ARGO was constantly innovating and continued to work towards adding new products. Currently, its product lines consist of Xtreme Terrain Vehicles (XTV), All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Utility Task Vehicles (UTV), and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV).

Specifically, the UGV business started in 1992 through the creation of the ARGO Badger platform. The success of this led to many projects in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency in the development of Lunar Rover vehicles. ARGO’s 30 plus years of robotics experience has led to a wide offering of capable off-road amphibious robotics platforms. At present, it has UGV platforms available in configurations of four, six, and eight-wheel variants, as well as dedicated tracked vehicles. All the vehicles are amphibious and are available in fully electric, combustion engines, or hybrid powertrains.

“We focus on providing the ARGO UGV platform with a clean flat top deck that enables our partner’s complete flexibility to satisfy their customers’ needs to be configured specifically for any mission”, added Darling.

Contributions To the Robotics Industry

For almost 30 years, ARGO provides UGV platforms for robotics integrators and researchers. This accelerates the development of robots for numerous uses. “By providing a vehicle platform which is supported as the base for any application, we are cutting development time significantly, while also greatly increasing the capabilities of those applications by making use of our deep knowledge-base and expertise. In addition to being a platform provider, we sell under the ARGO Rover brand providing proven, mature systems to market as a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) offering”, said the CEO.

Strategic Partnerships that Paved the Way Forward

Every company has partnerships that facilitate innovation and so does ARGO. As a company specializing in off-road amphibious robotic platforms that utilize a transmission for improved torque, speed, and run time, ARGO has an important partnership with Briggs and Stratton. Known as a “power company” for combustion engines, both companies have worked hard on developing the Vanguard ™ Lithium battery packs which are used in some of the ARGO UGVs. This partnership has enabled the fully electric operation of vehicles that can run continuously for up to 5 hours of autonomous driving (25kWh capacity).

“A key element that brought this partnership together was the desire to work with a North American company capable of not only providing a long-term product solution but coupling that with worldwide support and service capabilities.”

Another strategic partnership that boosted innovation was with Milanion, a commercial and military integrator who has developed the Agema, a gas-powered UGV. This multi-role platform can be configured for any mission profile. Its fully amphibious capabilities allow it to go anywhere.

What is the Company’s Vision?

In 2016, ARGO’s President and CEO, Brad Darling joined the company and initiated a five-year strategic plan that included significant investment in the UGV business. This vision has pushed the capabilities of ARGO UGV platforms. A big part of this vision is to be the world leader in Off-road Amphibious UGVs that can traverse any obstacle they encounter. Beyond this, it is about providing flexible platforms so that the application defines the product, rather than restricting the applications to the product’s capabilities. Having a range of platforms available where the user can choose the powerplant (gas, diesel, electric, hybrid), traction (wheels or tracks), and other critical options make ARGO UGV’s the most flexible platforms in the world and suitable for any off-road application.

When Facing Challenges Is Rewarded By Recognition

“Our first robotic development was 30 years ago, and this journey has included many challenges. These challenges have helped to drive our innovation and enabled us to acquire a vast amount of experience which is the reason why ARGO is the platform of choice for off-road UGVs”, said Darling. Overcoming hardships lead to ARGO’s tremendous success and exceptional growth in its amphibious robotic vehicle sales. The company’s recent stint with General Dynamic Land Systems (GD Land Systems) consisted of an exhaustive evaluation process that included delivery of initial platforms in September of 2017 to Fort Benning, Georgia. The current program calls for GD Land Systems to begin delivering units in the 2nd quarter of 2021 with a potential 600+ vehicle Army program over a five-year period with work to begin on the first increment.

Insights into the Future of Robotics

The off-road robotics industry is on the cusp of massive growth. Globally, dozens of countries are currently implementing or evaluating autonomous robotics within their land forces, says Darling. This movement is about enhancing capabilities and improving the safety of the soldier. The same trend is underway in commercial applications as well. “We aim to get people out of situations that are dangerous and remove the burden of monotony so that businesses utilize their human resources to their full potential”, he concluded. ARGO anticipates the industry to evolve and grow rapidly over the next 5 years.

ARGO Signs Industry Veteran, Announces Expansion of U.S. Headquarters

Posted Jul 08, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2021
Dean Dutcher
ddutcher@argoxtv.com

ARGO Signs Industry Veteran, Announces Expansion of U.S. Headquarters

(NEW HAMBURG, July 8, 2021) — ARGO, the worldwide leader for manned and unmanned amphibious Extreme Terrain Vehicles (XTVs) welcomes industry veteran Brian Dick to the ARGO team. Brian comes to ARGO with over 20 years of experience leading a number of engineering and research & development initiatives at Arctic Cat. Officing out of the US headquarters in Thief River Falls, MN, Brian will carry the role as Product Team Manager reporting to Mark Esala, VP – Engineering. Surrounded by an office of familiar faces, Brian expressed his excitement by saying, “It is refreshing to be working with an OEM that values the differentiated needs of their customer base and a leadership team that prioritizes their network of established dealers. The team of engineers at ARGO have taken tremendous steps forward and I am happy to contribute to the progression this company has demonstrated.”

Excited to be expanding his team with such a credible and innovative veteran such as Brian, Esala happily remarked, “We have a strong team of engineers, and the addition of Brian symbolizes ARGO’s commitment to becoming a driving force making lasting impacts within the powersports industry.” With an average of 24.5 years of experience amongst the entire staff officing out of the TRF headquarters, ARGO continues to make massive strides moving into model year 2022.

ARGO celebrates its first anniversary in the TRF facility and now staffs multiple departments including Engineering, Parts Inventory Management, PG&A Development, and Promotions. The office space recently concluded extensive renovations that cater to the growing company. Capitalizing on additional office locations while offering enhanced shop space for engineering, the updated facility is now fit for each individual department.

With a year filled with new products, record sales and a newly enhanced workforce, ARGO shows no signs of slowing down. When asked about the exponential growth ARGO has shown in the past year and the expansion of the US headquarters, President and CEO, Brad Darling responded saying, “We are working to expand the business through multiple avenues. In doing so, we must also expand and enhance our resources made available to our teams. By investing in the right people and the right work environments, we believe we can continue to take this company to new heights.” ARGO is expected to release their new lineup of products for model year 2022 in the coming months while continuing to, “Know No Boundaries.”

About ARGO – ARGO is the world leader in amphibious Xtreme Terrain Vehicles (XTVs) since 1967. ARGO markets its manned and unmanned vehicles through a network of independent dealers located throughout the United States and Canada, as well as distributors representing dealers in Europe, Russia, South America, the Middle East, Asia and other international markets. ARGO products’ unique durability, safety and versatility are driven by the company’s renowned engineering and ability to go where others can’t. GO ANYWHERE!

ARGO Announces Sales Team Growth

Posted Apr 06, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2021
Dean Dutcher
ddutcher@argoxtv.com
519-662-2840 ext. 364

ARGO Announces Sales Team Growth

Six (6) new District Sales Managers (DSMs) added across Canada and the U.S.

(NEW HAMBURG, April 6, 2021) — ARGO, the worldwide leader for amphibious

Extreme Terrain Vehicles (XTVs), announces new growth and expansion of its sales force. In efforts to help support the sustained growth this past fiscal year, ARGO has hired 6 additional DSMs for the North American market. Representing the Canadian provinces, ARGO welcomes: Jared Picard, Robert Berube and Josh Underhill. Tasked with the U.S. dealer network, ARGO welcomes Stacy Hadaway, Greg Soland and Josh Robinson. The newly added DSMs bring an abundance of industry knowledge and expertise that will be critical as ARGO navigates the unprecedented growth and expansion across North America.

After augmenting the product offering by adding the all-new ARGO Sherp series, growth and expansion of the dealer network has become the top priority among ARGO’s sales team. When asked about the need for additional DSM positions, Kevin Asselin, Vice President of Sales responded saying, “As a company experiencing new growth patterns, we had to diligently enhance our sales force by building it out with like-minded people equipped with experience and skills to capitalize on new business opportunities that align with our vision.” With a strong focus on dealer recruitment, the newly added DSMs look to recruit qualified dealers throughout North America giving more consumers the opportunity to experience the expanded Argo product line.

With our model year 2022 product launch quickly approaching, industry demand remains very strong. The expanded sales team prepares for the whirlwind of dealer orders to satisfy the demand from consumers. With fresh and exciting new products being offered by ARGO, the year ahead looks promising as we continue to Know No Boundaries.

ARGO announces another partnership!

Posted Jan 27, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2021
Dean Dutcher
ddutcher@argoxtv.com
519-662-2840 ext 364

ARGO announces another partnership!

FreeedomRoad Financial offers ARGO’s dealers and customers another way to get outdoors to social distance in an ARGO.

(NEW HAMBURG, January 27, 2020) — ARGO, the world-wide leader for Amphibious Extreme Terrain Vehicles (XTVs), is pleased to announce they have entered into a retail financing agreement with FreedomRoad Financial that will provide their dealers and customers more flexibility.

As the retail momentum continues at an all-time high within the powersports industry we are pleased to share that Argo continues to outpace the industry. In an effort to ensure that we do everything possible to capture every retail sale, and get our customers into an Argo, we are pleased to announce that we have partnered with FreedomRoad Financial (FRF) as an added source for retail financing for all of the Argo product lines.

FreedomRoad Financial is a premier lender in the powersports category and will provide ARGO dealers up to 5 tiers of financing for their customers. In addition, they offer features like; 84 month terms, service 7 days a week, financing on accessories, and special rates for employees and repeat customers.

Kevin Asselin, VP Sales, says “While we continue to partner with Dealer Direct and love the services they provide, we are always looking for ways to offer our dealers more. We believe the added flexibility this brings will directly drive more retail sales for our dealers.”

Visit argoxtv.com to learn more about ARGO XTVs and ATVs.

ARGO introduces 2 new Aurora models!

Posted Jan 18, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2021
Dean Dutcher
ddutcher@argoxtv.com
519-662-2840 ext. 364

ARGO introduces 2 new Aurora models!

Aurora 800 SX and Aurora 800 SX Huntmaster models now available!

(NEW HAMBURG, January 18, 2021) — ARGO, the worldwide leader for amphibious

Extreme Terrain Vehicles (XTVs), is pleased to announce the introduction of 2 additional models to its 2021 model year lineup. Effective today our dealers can begin ordering these 2 new models and customers can expect to take delivery starting late March - Early April.

“Field demand for all of our models has been incredible during this past year but we kept being asked about a liquid cooled model in our premium Aurora platform” stated Kevin Asselin, ARGOs Vice President of Sales. “We put a lot of stake in the voice of the customer and we heard them loud and clear here. We know demand for these models will be high and quickly become one of our top sellers!”

Early input on these new models has been tremendous:

"This is great news that ARGO will have a liquid cooled engine option available for the new Aurora models! I think this new Liquid cooled engine option will drive sales for 2021 giving the buyer more options." - Sills ARGO

"This new powerplant will fit the niche that many customers will want, if not require, in the demanding conditions they are exposed to." - ARGO Adventure

These 2 new models feature our 800 engine that is currently offered in our Conquest series. It is a liquid cooled V-twin with EFI. Both Aurora models come with our patented ARGO progressive steering (APS), a 16 function premium gauge as well as many other features, and of course, are fully amphibious. The Huntmaster model also features a front rack, winch, and rear cargo box as standard equipment.

Kevin went on to say “The Argo line of amphibious Extreme Terrain Vehicles are gaining popularity as an alternative to the traditional Side x Side and as we continue to grow our dealer base, this new Aurora 800 with a twin cylinder, liquid cooled engine will be a key model for both the recreational and commercial markets.”

For more information on these new models and all ARGO products, visit argoxtv.com.

ARGO Commercial & Robotic Products take shape!

Posted Jan 04, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2021
Dean Dutcher
ddutcher@argoxtv.com
519-662-2840 ext. 364

ARGO Commercial & Robotic Products take shape!

With the addition of Craig Kennedy and the release of the ARGO Sherp Series,

Argo is prepared to Go Everywhere in 2021.

(NEW HAMBURG, January 4, 2021) — ARGO, the worldwide leader for amphibious

Extreme Terrain Vehicles (XTVs) is pleased to announce that it has hired Craig Kennedy as Vice President of Commercial & Robotic Products.

In his new role, Kennedy assumes responsibility for leading and growing ARGO’s commercial and robotic market by building and executing a global expansion strategy based off of the company’s recently launched target market vehicle platforms. In addition to strengthening the ARGO brand, Kennedy is also tasked with identifying and developing innovative new products, as well as supporting and growing the company’s commercial and robotic partners.

ARGO President and CEO, Brad Darling, stated, “Craig’s appointment comes at an exciting time for the business as we continue to roll out industry specific models to meet the market’s needs. I could not be more excited than I am about adding Craig to our team and am confident that he has the experience and skills needed to take the commercial and robotic business to that next level of success.”

Regarding Kennedy, Darling went on to say, “We have worked together in the past. Craig has tremendous skills and knowledge that will provide excellent leadership for his team and to ARGO, while delivering great products to our customers.”

Craig Kennedy, ARGO’s new vice president added, “I am excited to lead a talented and highly motivated team at ARGO. This is a great opportunity to work with a business that has a strong brand with a rich heritage, a loyal customer base, and a bounty of exciting products in the pipeline. I am eager to build on the company’s success and significant opportunities to increase its sales. I look forward to embracing the challenges that this new role will bring.”

ARGO Commercial Products consisting of the Aurora Responder Series, the Conquest Pro Series and will now include three new Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs); the ARGO Sherp Pro XT, ARGO Sherp Ark XTX and the ARGO Sherp Ark XTZ. From mining to oil and gas, and from utilities to search and rescue, these units are built for the rugged demands of commercial operators, with the power and capacity, greater versatility, maximized quality and safety.

In addition to the expanded commercial product line, Craig and his team will be responsible for ARGO’s Xtreme Terrain Robotics (XTRs) product. Whether manned or unmanned, ARGO has a full lineup of commercial and industrial products. Visit argoxtv.com.

ARGO announces plans to "Stay on the gas!"

Posted Nov 18, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 12, 2020
Dean Dutcher
ddutcher@argoxtv.com
519-662-2840 ext 364

Launching 14 all-new models over the next several months provides opportunities for our dealers and customers.

(NEW HAMBURG, November 12, 2020) — ARGO, the world-wide leader for Amphibious Extreme Terrain Vehicles (XTVs), is pleased to announce the continuation of their aggressive development of new products by adding new models to the current offering of ATVs and Amphibious XTVs.

Argo’s unique product offering and market position of “Go Anywhere” is demonstrated in its current lineup of Xplorer ATVs and Frontier, Aurora and Conquest XTVs in addition to the commercial lineup of Conquest Pro XTVs. These all-new models will continue to deliver on that promise.

Argo President and CEO, Brad Darling, stated, “In the last 4 years, we have completely reworked the ARGO product offering by introducing over 30 new models and significantly expanded our dealer network to fill in open areas. This has created tremendous opportunity and growth for the company and incremental profit for our dealers.”

Kevin Asselin, VP Sales, says “While COVID-19 has challenged the whole team, it has also created opportunities and we are not taking our foot off the gas. Our retail sales are through the roof! In the next several months, we will be introducing 14 all-new models that will continue to provide our dealers and their customers with the best lineup of recreational and commercial vehicles on the market! If you’re not part of the Argo Team, I invite you to visit our dealer prospect link at https://argoxtv.com/dealer-prospect for more information.”

Visit argoxtv.com to learn more about ARGO XTVs and ATVs.

About ARGO
 ARGO is the world leader in Amphibious vehicles since 1967. ARGO manufactures Xtreme Terrain Robotics (XTR) for distribution throughout the United States, Canada, as well as other international markets. ARGOs unique durability, safety and versatility are driven by its renowned engineering capability.

UPCOMING SHOWS

Posted Jan 03, 2020

See the list of upcoming shows ARGO will be participating in.

Ride & Drive Events

Posted Sep 14, 2018

Click for dates and locations of a dealer near you. Don't see an event? Keep checking back, as we are always adding more stops!

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