ROBIN bird detection systems were originally developed by TNO in conjunction with the FlySafe initiative by the Integrated Application Promotion (AIP) program 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.