PIETER ADRIAANS is professor of adaptive and learning systems at the University of Amsterdam. Adriaans started sailing at the age of five and has been fascinated by yachting ever since. He has been racing and cruising for the past 40 years in a variety of boats. In 1994 he joined his sister Ingrid and brother-in-law Marcel, who had been cruising the globe for over five years, on a cruising tour in Japan. During this trip, Adriaans and his brother-in-law came up with the idea that an automatic pilot should be able to do much more than it is capable of today. The idea was put on hold but would turn out to be the beginning of developing a 'compu-crewed' racing yacht a couple of years later.
Adriaans studied philosophy and mathematics in Leiden, The Netherlands. He has been active in research in the areas of artificial intelligence and relational database systems since 1984. He and his business partner, Dolf Zantinge, founded Syllogic B.V. in 1989. Adriaans received a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Amsterdam, where he is now a part-time professor in machine learning/artificial intelligence, in 1992. Dolf and Pieter sold Syllogic to Perot Systems in 1998, and stayed on as managing directors - a transaction which officially included time off for Pieter to sail the Singlehanded TransAtlantic Race 2000. He had to retire from this race. In 2002 he won the Dual Round Britain in class with Roland Jonkhoff as co-skipper.
Adriaans wrote numerous articles and a number of books on topics related to both computer science and philosophy which include a book on systems analysis and, more recently, books on client/server and distributed databases as well as data mining.
He is also a fanatic painter and guitar player and has the ambition of integrating these activities with other research projects. Robosail is an attempt of integrating his passion for sailing with his scientific interest in adaptive systems and intelligent agents.
ROLAND JONKHOFF is Syllogic's co-skipper. He started sailing when he was 6 years old, in a Mirror dinghy, attached to a long line, on one of the canals in Friesland, The Netherlands. Now, 28 years later, he can still enjoy short-handed sailing and has started a small campaign in order to compete in the 2005 Single Handed Trans Atlantic Race ("STAR"). Joining the Robosail Sailing Team enables Roland to enjoy sailing on one of the most sophisticated 40-footers in the world, while at the same time he assists in the further development of the self-learning autopilot aboard Syllogic.
Working as an Export Manager for Bolidt (a company specialized in Synthetic Products & Systems) he is very fortunate to have an employer who supports him in chasing his "nautical goals". Having sailed nearly everything from surfboards to traditional steel Barges, the water certainly has its influence. After 7 years of being a skipper for the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club, training youngsters in sailing larger ships on open water, and after many fully crewed (off-shore) regattas, the focus has now changed to short-handed sailing.