ROBIN Radar Systems was spun out of the well-respected Dutch Research Institute for Applied Science (TNO) in mid 2010. Our company name is derived from the TNO project name: Radar Observation of Bird INtensity (ROBIN).
ROBIN Radar Systems BV is an independent company that acquired all TNO bird radar intellectual property, hardware and software. This means we have unique access to the world’s most advanced bird radar technology – purpose-designed for tracking and identifying birds since the 1970s.
We’re a young company, keen to help you make a positive impact on the safety, efficiency and sustainability of your operations.
Our mission is to offer the best technology combined with the best service. We know that the best results are achieved when we work in close collaboration with our customers. And our work isn’t done until we know our solution is meeting or exceeding your expectations.
Our Mission in short:
ROBIN radar aims to increase flight safety for humans, bats and birds.
We believe there is room for new players with better systems and service. We don’t focus on the weaknesses of the competition, but excel through our own strengths and those of our users.
Our key strength is our team, with its 30-year pedigree in bird radars from the Dutch research Institute for Applied Science (TNO). We have used this strength to make unique systems in co-operation with our users – making the leap to second-generation, purpose-built avian radars.
Many of our users are researchers. They want to know HOW the radar gets its data, rather than use systems that are a ‘black box’ to them. We are happy to provide transparency in how our systems work.
Transparency also means being real about the limitations of radar. No radar sees everything. While it offers great possibilities, it is no substitute for human observation. Performance is affected by clutter from insects, the sea and weather conditions, for example. Also, the ability to recognize individual species is still developing. Having ‘the best’ system is not good enough: users need to understand HOW good it is under certain conditions.
That is why ROBIN encourages the validation of bird radars in general and especially of its own systems. We do this in co-operation with users and scientists using multiple techniques – ranging from human observations to tagged birds and remote-controlled helicopters.
As a technology supplier, we need to be aware that we provide only one piece of the puzzle. Data is not the same as information and information requires professional interpretation before it can result in conclusions or policies. That is why we partner with multiple ecological research organizations.
Having access to our systems is one thing: using them effectively is another. A significant part of our efforts is dedicated to training and product support. Both provide great input for further improvement of our systems, and form the basis of a long-term beneficial relationship.
We’re aiming for market leadership by making this vision real.
ROBIN bird detection systems were originally developed by TNO in conjunction with the FlySafe initiative by the Integrated Application Promotion (AIP) programme of the European Space Agency for use by the Royal Netherlands Air Force to prevent bird strikes in flight operations across The Netherlands.
ROBIN Radar Systems was founded to spin out the technology from TNO by three former TNO employees, Jeroen Wortelboer, Addy Borst and Wouter Keijer, together with the founder of Waleli, Siete Hamminga, who jointly saw the broader commercial potential for the technology.
As Siete Hamminga puts it, "ROBIN is a great example of the commercialization of science. It represents the best of both worlds: a solid scientific base combined with committed entrepreneurship – resulting in an explosive mixture."
Although there are no formal links between the organizations, TNO serves as one of ROBIN's strategic suppliers, extending its R&D capacity. ESA and TNO have no shares in the company: ROBIN is entirely privately owned.