PORT OF LOS ANGELES – Calm waters at the docks in the Port of Los Angeles have become a gateway for startups such as Jehangir’s Rustom Blue Robotics to test their remote controlled vehicles and underwater drones like their BlueROV2.
Jehangir’s company is one of many companies going underwater to have a chance to be part of the future ocean or blue economy that won’t stop for COVID-19.
“People often say that robots are very good at boring, dangerous and dirty things and that is certainly the case. There are many underwater applications that are boring, dirty or dangerous. This can protect divers or just keep a closer eye on them, “Jehangir said.
Before there were any COVID restrictions, Jehangir moved his company to the AltaSea in the Port of Los Angeles – a 185,000-square-foot dockside storage area for start-ups in this industry to share ideas, data and inspiration for the future of ocean sustainability.
“This industry currently only has room to grow, there are so many opportunities in the ocean and so much interest in doing things better in the ocean, taking better care of it, understanding,” said Jehangir.
Jehangir said his new oceanfront location led him to meet and collaborate with other companies in the industry. And even with COVID-19 restrictions, Blue Robotics adapted and was able to keep workers on board, some even saw increases. According to a recent study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, the global ocean economy is projected to become a $ 3 trillion industry in the next decade and LA County’s share could create more than 120,000 jobs by 2023.
“The blue economy is a fast growing segment of our economy and it is looking for space and it has no home, and we think Los Angeles and especially the ports of Long Beach and LA are a perfect place for the blue economy to grow, ”said Tim McOsker, CEO of AltaSea in the Port of Los Angeles.
Jehangir is delighted to ramp up testing efforts in the water as the COVID-19 overrides restrictions.
“This is just a fantastic place to be as a maritime robotics entrepreneur, as it combines water with warehouse space and office space and the opportunity to meet and collaborate with many unique companies,” Jehangir said.
Now he hopes this space will help his company get a first glimpse of what the future holds for underwater exploration and ocean sustainability.