First International Order for Kubiko
The Dutch company Kubiko, specialist in high-tech bird deterrent systems, acquired its first international order. The company has been active in the Dutch offshore market for several years with their animal friendly solution, based on cameras, lasers and artificial intelligence software.
The order from the UK, means Kubiko is setting its first steps in the international offshore market. “Birds and their droppings cause serious problems on helidecks. Especially offshore at oil- and gas platforms and windfarms that are currently being developed. The costs of cleaning an offshore helideck can add up to EUR 100,000 annually,” says Kubiko’s Operational Director Rien Ramerman. “Bird and guano problems lead to unsafe landing situations for helicopters and their crew, slipperiness and the hazard of broken limbs, plus the risk of diseases for offshore personnel.”
Offshore operators are responsible for a clean, safe and whole helideck. Until recently, helidecks had to be cleaned regularly, as traditional bird deterrent methods – mostly based on sound and random laser patterns – lose their effect over time. Mr Ramerman, “The difference between the Kubiko system and other bird deterrent systems lies in the software. Our software enables us to recognise birds and target them at their exact location. An attack involves a laser projection of a virtual predator on the helideck, that moves towards the location of the bird. As seagulls get habituated to random sound- and laser patterns, they do not seem to get used to the targeted attacks. The international interest for the Dutch system is no surprise: birds and their guano are after all a worldwide problem.”
Kubiko was founded in 2013 by Bram Stoeller and Folkert Huizinga, two graduates in the field of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Amsterdam. The bird problem was presented to them by Mr Stoeller’s uncle Giel Menijn. With his 40 years of experience in the offshore industry, he knew first-hand how birds and their droppings can turn a helideck into an unsafe, unhealthy environment in no-time. An effective and animal friendly solution was still to be found. The use of lasers seemed likely, although lasers lose their effect on the smart and cocky seagulls when they are not targeted to their exact location. By developing a system based on cameras and artificial intelligence software, Kubiko seems to have found the key to success.