Cottonwood to invest in robotics to tackle damages by birds

15 March 2015 (Last Updated March 15th, 2015 18:30)

US-based seed and early-stage fund Cottonwood Euro Technology Fund will invest €1.6m in Clear Flight Solutions, a robotics drone spinoff company from the University of Twente.

US-based seed and early-stage fund Cottonwood Euro Technology Fund will invest €1.6m in Clear Flight Solutions, a robotics drone spinoff company from the University of Twente.

Clear Flight Solutions has developed a technology that uses lifelike robotic birds to control damage inflicted by birds at airports.

Birds cause damages worth billions at airports, as well as other facilities across the world. As they are intelligent, they learn to surpass the existing bird control technologies.

"We have completed a very successful trial at waste management site in Twente, which is one of the most challenging environments."

Cottonwood said that Clear Flight Solutions is different from conventional technologies, because it makes use of robotic birds called robirds, which imitate the flight of the predatory peregrine falcon in a way to make birds believe that they are the real birds instead of a machine.

Clear Flight Solutions CEO Nico Nijenhuis said: "We have completed a very successful trial at waste management site in Twente, which is one of the most challenging environments.

"Currently, we have committed to a number of trial runs and are in discussion across every application area, including one of the leading European airports. Cottonwood's investment will allow us to execute these trials, and their worldwide network with industry leaders will bring our company to the next level."

Lead general partner of the Cottonwood Euro Technology Fund Ray Quintana said: "The bird control problem is much bigger than we initially imagined. Clear Flight Solutions has developed technology with tremendous potential that addresses a global problem.

"We have also identified various other applications of the technology. That makes this the ideal business case for our first European investment."