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To be where no one can go. Can you envision it?

Look through the eyes of TNO and discover how we’re using friendly machinery to contribute to tomorrow’s life. How are we ensuring safety at places where humans are at risk?

If the statement ‘someone has got to do it’ doesn’t lead to a spontaneous raising of hands because the location is too dangerous, the sea is too rough, the road is untraversable, or an explosion is not out of the question, a different solution needs to be found. TNO is using technological innovations to get to places where no one can go. Together with our partners, we’re working on robots, drones, and sonar systems with extraordinarily special properties. This technological material can help to assess and secure unsafe situations. A few impressive selections from developments at TNO.

Is it an animal? Is it a dog?

The life-saving dog is within hand’s reach. Meet the rescue robot, TNO’s hypersensitive and smart dog. He can traverse all kinds of terrain inaccessible to or too dangerous for humans. Developed by American company, Boston Dynamics, the robot dog goes by the name SPOT. TNO has equipped him with the latest gadgets in the field of artificial intelligence, enabling him to work independently. He could conduct inspections of areas too dangerous for his human colleagues or execute rescue operations under extreme conditions.

A robot dog that helps people - no, this is not science fiction!

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Drone saves drowning person

The Netherlands’ beaches are frequently bustling with activity on beautiful summer days, making an extra pair of eyes to keep track of swimmers no unnecessary luxury. The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) rescues 4,000 people spanning more than 2,500 annual outings. To help these brave men and women, TNO is developing software for drones that is able to automatically detect people in distress. Upon detecting someone in distress, images captured by the drone and its GPS location are immediately transmitted to the nearest KNRM rescue boat, which can then set course to the person in question to rescue him or her.

KNRM, KPN and TNO conduct test to detect drowning people

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Mud mask

Danger may be hidden under thick layers of mud. Mines and explosives are not always visible at the bottom of the sea, but being hidden from the naked eye does not make them any less dangerous. This is why TNO has constructed an advanced sonar system for the Netherlands’ Ministry of Defence. The system has a much larger coverage area than previous systems and is therefore able to detect suspicious objects hidden under deep layers of mud. This information can subsequently be used by the Netherlands’ Royal Navy to dig out the objects and disarm them.

Diving drones

It’s not always possible to deploy divers for maritime inspections. It may be too dangerous to use people when the waves are too rough or objects are deep under water. Underwater drones can offer a solution, but there’s a lot involved. TNO has helped to develop underwater drones that are able to wirelessly stream images and videos at incredibly fast speeds. The drones are exceptionally durable, they are able to communicate with each other, and are in contact with an underwater modem as part of an advanced communication infrastructure.

Operations at sea

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Look through our eyes and discover:


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