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NOAA Awards $174,948 SBIR Phase I to Jaia Robotics for Sea Air Boundary Energy Transfer Measurements Using Micro-Sized UxVs


RELEASE: 2023.09.25


Ian Estaphan Owen

Jaia Robotics, Inc.

+1 (401) 214-9139

NOAA Press Release

National Oceanic & Atmospheric



Bristol, Rhode Island, Monday, Sept 25, 2023 — Jaia Robotics, Inc., a leader in low-cost, micro-sized aquatic drones (JaiaBots), is delighted to announce a $174,948 SBIR Phase I grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Project is titled, “Sea Air Boundary Energy Transfer Measurements Using Micro-Sized UxVs”.

Jaia will work with Jim Owens and his team at Nautilus Defense who will develop an instrumented parachute to support launching JaiaBots out of a P-3 SonoBuoy tube to collect Atmospheric Data. The JaiaBot will detach from the parachute to collect Sea Surface Data – including temperature, salinity, current vectors, wave heights and periodicity; and Sub Surface Data – including 100m profile dives, temperature, salinity, and sub surface current vectors.

JaiaBots represent a significant advancement in affordable aquatic drones supporting the environmental data collection needs of academia, industry, and government agencies. The multi vehicle capability of the JaiaBot system presents the opportunity to collect comprehensive, wide area data at scale – at high speed and with unprecedent low cost.

Ian Estaphan Owen, CEO and Co-Founder of Jaia Robotics Ian said, “We are proud to be selected as one of 30 projects awarded SBIR Phase I funding this year, and plan to demonstrate project feasibility and apply for future Phase II funding in early 2024.”

“This NOAA supported work will help Jaia to further ruggedize the vehicles to expand observation in a wider range of environments. The strategy of deploying multiple sensors over a survey area to collect synoptic data above and below the surface is a game changer in terms of speed of observation, and real-time dynamic understanding of the environmental changes occurring throughout the volume of ocean being observed. The low cost per JaiaBot finally makes this an affordable reality” continued Ian.

Congratulations to Jaia Robotics on their NOAA Small Business Innovation Research Program Award,” said Raymond Catania, CTO of Catania Product Development. “At Catania, our unwavering commitment lies in driving positive change in the human experience, and it is truly an honor for us to contribute to this endeavor by collaborating with Jaia on their groundbreaking JaiaBOT aimed at mitigating climate change to  propel NOAA’s goals of driving social, environmental and economic benefits.”

Jim Owens, founder and Principal of Nautilus Defense said, “This effort will provide Nautilus with the opportunity to push the boundaries of the types of environmental sensing that are possible in textiles. JaiaBots present a novel platform for integration with Nautilus’ multimodal sensing canopy that has utility beyond the descent phase of the collection event.”

NOAA’s SBIR program is a highly competitive merit-based grant program that encourages U.S. small businesses to engage in federally supported research and development, with the end goal of developing innovative and commercially-viable products or services. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, NOAA stimulates high-tech innovation.

To learn more about

– Nautilus Defense : click here Nautilus Defense

– Catania Enterprises: click here Catania Enterprises

– NOAA click here NOAA Tech Partnerships

About Jaia Robotics, Inc.: Jaia Robotics, based in Bristol, Rhode Island, specializes in the design and development of low-cost, high-speed, micro-sized autonomous aquatic vehicles. The foundational product, JaiaBot, represents a significant advancement for the industry because it supports large scale data collection at an affordable price. Jaia Robotics further enhanced the JaiaBot’s accessibility with open architecture, and an easily configurable, multi-sensor format.  Jaia Robotics provides JaiaBots for direct sale and offers comprehensive aquatic data collection services – JaiaBots as a Service (JaaS) for customers who need the data and don’t want to make a capital investment. JaiaBots collect data from the ocean, surf zone, estuaries, rivers, and lakes.

About Nautilus Defense: Nautilus Defense, based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is a world-leader in the development and production of textile-integrated systems for monitoring high-value assets and their environments. Nautilus’ novel materials and methods enable the distribution and networking of traditional electronics and electromagnetic devices in textiles without compromising their inherent fabric properties.


Jaia Robotics, Inc. | 22 Burnside St | Bristol | RI 02809 | I +1 401 214 9139 |