About Us

Jaia Robotics Team

Jaia robotics inc.



To Democratize Aquatic Data Collection 



Providing the ultimate customer experience, with simplicity at the core of everything we do. Supplying safe, easy to use aquatic drone data collection and data visualization tools. 


Hear CEO/Co-Founder, Ian Estaphan Owen tell Jaia's story

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Ian Estaphan Owen

Chief Executive Officer + Co-Founder

As a Jaia Robotics co-founder Ian brings a unique mix of business leadership, program management, engineering, operations and capture skills. Ian has worked in the defense, technology, and commercial sectors, with a strong emphasis on Blue Tech. Jaia Robotics was born out of a passion for protecting our environment and finding ways to affordably collect the data that helps us better understand our impact on it.

The work Ian did at Aquabotix provided invaluable insight into the potential of using micro sized autonomous marine vehicles to collect data at a very low cost. This experience – understanding customer needs and market knowledge – underpins the decision to co-found Jaia Robotics and develop the JaiaBot synoptic data collection system.

Ian spent four years at Sonos Inc., partnering with industry behemoths including IKEA, Amazon, and Apple to successfully develop amazing products and launch them into market – always with a laser focus on customer experience. Prior to Sonos, Ian led the Program Management Team at Bluefin Robotics, successfully developing large and medium size autonomous underwater vehicles for customers around the globe. Big business experience was gained at Raytheon where Ian led the Naval Business for the UK operation before transferring to the US, where he worked with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on the NSF funded Ocean Observatory Initiative, as well as doing a rotation as a faculty member in the Raytheon Program Management College providing international business insight.

Ian grew up in a coastal town in southern Wales, UK, where he developed that strong connection with the ocean that led to the first twelve years of his professional life in the UK Royal Navy. Out of work, Ian enjoys surfing, snowboarding, trying to keep fit and losing golf balls. Ian has been on the board of directors, serving as treasurer for Clean Ocean Access, an environmental organization he helped attain 501c3 status for in 2014. Married to Michelle since 2007, his home is now in Southern Rhode Island with two grown up sons living in the US and UK.

Jason Webster

Chief Technology Officer + Co-Founder
Jason Webster made a career change somewhat late in life from retail management into engineering. This required going back to the scholastic grindstone where he breezed to an associate degree in engineering science from Bristol Community College while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and delivering the valedictory address. This led to a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Brown University where he designed the TruffleBot (a circuit board with sensor arrays to correlate temporal time signatures into the detection of vapor plumes) for his capstone project (there was a lot of help – like all good engineering efforts). From 2015 to 2020, Jason worked at Aquabotix – designing, building, and of maintaining their ROVs and ASVs quickly working his way to a leadership role as chief engineer. When not found head-down in the lab immersed in engineering new creations, he could be found collaborating with customers on custom integrations, managing contractors, and overseeing outside contract manufacturing. After the year that will always be known as 2020, he co-founded and helped launch Jaia Robotics with Ian. Together as Jaia Robotics , they are poised to change the aquatic robotic world. Jason is passionate about the user experience and making tools that genuinely make life easier. His long-term goal is an industry recognized payload interface – think USB underwater. Jason currently resides with his better half, Carla, in Wareham, MA which despite all the signage to the contrary, is not Cape Cod.

Sean Healey

Technical Project Manager

Sean is Jaia Robotics’ first employee and he joins the team as our Technical Project Manager. Sean comes from an extensive background in marine electronics within the Grand Prix yachting industry. While being a sailor himself he was fortunate to transition his passion for the sport to a career working with the top sailing and racing programs in the world. With a career that spans nearly thirty years he has been part of multiple world championship programs, four Volvo Ocean Race syndicates, three America’s Cup syndicates as well as multiple open ocean world speed and distance records. During that time, the demand on electronic, electrical and systems designs, integration and support have reached an all-time high. Sean is regarded as one of the top individuals in the marine systems integration and electrical systems commissioning systems field. The need to meet immovable deadlines and be able to work in an extremely high pressure environment, clearly communicating and working with the multiple teams needed to bring a high performance racing yacht to race ready condition, makes Sean an outstanding all-rounder. Sean brings to Jaia Robotics an extensive background in high-profile, high-pressure work environments in which self direction and crisp decision making will benefit all aspects of the business.

Michael Rock

Product Manager

Growing up on the Texas coast, Michael grew to love everything about the ocean which led him to pursue a degree in Ocean Engineering from the University of Rhode Island. Michael’s undergraduate focus on robotics, physics, ocean instrumentation, acoustics, and data modeling as well as three years working with the Navy developing autonomous behaviors for cross-domain platforms employment and five years working within URI’s Robotics Laboratory for Complex Underwater Environments allowed him the background to be selected as JAIA Robotics second employee. He graduated at the top of his class for both his Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Ocean Engineering. To complete his Master’s degree from University of Rhode Island, Michael defended his thesis – The Quantification and Redesign of a Granular Jamming Gripper with Internal Printed Hydraulics. Michael brings to Jaia Robotics a highly analytical approach to solving complex problems, expertise in SolidWorks, and strong project management skills to allow the timely achievement of goals. Michael stays close to the water enjoying fishing, boating, sailing, scuba diving around the world, as well as taking on a challenging tennis match.

Matthew Ferro

Senior Software Engineer

Matt is a Senior Software Engineer at Jaia Robotics. He’s a versatile full stack developer who quickly and can quickly adapts to new technologies. He effectively manages an agile development team as the Scrum Master to enhance Jaia systems through iterative improvements. Prior to Jaia Robotics, he was a Computer Scientist at The Navy Undersea Warfare Center for seven years. As an experienced software engineer and operator in the unmanned undersea vehicle space, Matt is passionate about the user experience and strives for ease of use when designing a user interface.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a master’s degree in Software Engineering from Brandeis University.

In his spare time, he likes to ski. Skiing is something he has picked up with his wife, Jessica, and now they cannot wait for the winter. He also likes to play ping pong with friends and family. Occasionally, he’ll go for a run to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Matt also finds pleasure in traveling, exploring new restaurants, and cherishing quality time with Jessica and their English Bulldog, Frank.

Deedee Chatham

Business Development Director

Deedee leads marketing and sales efforts for Jaia while identifying use cases within academic, defense, environmental, and emerging markets. Turning prospects into delighted customers is what energizes her. Previously, Deedee worked to build The University of Rhode Island’s innovation ecosystem through entrepreneurial and research programs such as URI Launch Lab, URI Research Foundation commercialization, Rhode Island’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Polaris MEP), and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Prior to URI, Deedee spent 20 years focused on marketing strategy, operations, sales, and business development while growing startups in the software, energy, and data analytics industries. She earned her MBA from Northeastern University and biochemistry and psychology degrees from the University of New Hampshire. A true Rhode Island native, Deedee was born in East Providence just as her Dad returned from years at sea to become the business force behind the Northeast Marine Pilots Association.

Growing up sailing on rivers, lakes and Narragansett Bay, she developed a passion for the ocean and the delicate balance required to keep the environment healthy. She’s volunteered as a water quality citizen scientist for 18 years (which has also been a convenient reason to get out in her kayak early mornings to collect water samples), and she’s passionate about this opportunity to bring affordable aquatic data to the world using the JaiaBot platform.

Mark Milligan

Production Manager

Bio Coming Soon

Ken Benevides headshot

Ken Benevides

Production Engineer

Bio Coming Soon