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Traveling Robot Operator



United States · San Diego, CA, USA · Carlsbad, CA, USA · Rancho San Diego, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, October 11, 2023

About Us:

Seasats is a small but rapidly growing company building autonomous boats for commercial, defense, and ocean science customers. The vehicles we build are strong and durable enough to carry sensors on multi-month ocean missions, but are also light enough to be handled by 1-2 people without cranes or heavy equipment.

The company is located in sunny San Diego, CA and is composed of talented engineers, builders, and business people. Internally, our shop work culture is hard working, fun, and flexible. Externally, we’ve built a reputation for being professional, knowledgeable, and dedicated to getting the job done. To learn more about our company, product, and team, check out seasats.com.

Role: Traveling Robot Operator

Salary: Up to $135,000/yr ($75,000 base plus $60,000 in travel bonuses)

Seasats is deploying a growing fleet of autonomous surface vehicles (AKA ASVs or robotic boats) and needs to hire a small team of remote operations specialists, AKA road warriors, robot ninjas, or (more boringly) ASV operators. In the past two years, we've filled this need using people from our in-house team. Because of that, we’re well prepared to help transfer knowledge to incoming robo-road-warriors to help ensure mission success (and minimal toe stubbing).

Mission deployments have taken us up and down both US coasts, to lakes in the middle of the country, and more recently overseas. We don’t know where we’ll be asked to go next or for how long, but it’ll always be somewhere coastal / near the water.

Specific tasks could include:

  • Completing deployments of up to two continuous months at Navy bases and other sites around the world.
  • Interfacing with Navy, Coast Guard, and other personnel, and passing on key information to the San Diego team.
  • Launching and recovering small ASVs.
  • Remote monitoring and controlling ASVs via a computer or phone during missions.
  • Sharing bugs and feature requests with the San Diego development team to improve operations.
  • Using electronic devices and maps to plan missions, taking into account weather and other variables.
  • Regular sessions with the San Diego team (some remote, some in San Diego) to learn about new vehicle features and maintenance/operations procedures.
  • Completing contracting requirements such as daily status updates via Slack, email, or Signal.
  • Occasional nighttime operations.

If you’re someone who likes traveling a lot, doing a job well, working with a kickass team, tinkering with technology, being around the ocean, and interacting with new people, this could be a dream job for you. If you have a tendency to get frustrated with technology, smash your keyboard, throw things, or swear loudly and angrily when things go wrong, this job is not for you. If you have serious commitments to a fixed geographic location, this would also be a poor fit.

You’ll need to be:

  • Calm under pressure, responsible, and good humored.
  • Able to work well with others, take orders, or operate independently as needed.
  • Excited to travel to new parts of the world for extended periods of time.
  • A quick learner and a patient troubleshooter.
  • Happy working with laptops, tablets, phones, and other technology.
  • Comfortable working long hours and willing to stick around until the job is done.
  • Handy with hand tools and basic wrenching, screw drivers, etc.
  • Safety conscious.
  • Resourceful, confident, and capable enough to get the job done even if plan A goes south.
  • Comfortable with lots of physical activity and occasionally lifting heavy objects.

In addition, it’s nice (though not essential) for you to have:

  • Experience on the ocean or around boats (strong plus).
  • Prior military service.
  • Experience working with kids or teaching.
  • Skill with RC vehicles and/or video games.
  • Experience driving a forklift.

More details:

  • Working shoulder to shoulder with customers to help them achieve their mission goals, you’ll often serve as the practical face of Seasats. Because of that, operating according to our core values is an essential part of the job. They’re listed below, and we can explain their meanings further during the interview process.
    • Get Shit Done
    • Be Kind
    • Fight Entropy
    • Attack with Overwhelming Force
    • Ask More Questions
    • Lines, Not Dots
  • You’re welcome to live in San Diego, but given the highly remote nature of this position it’s not required. There would be a 2-4 week ramp up period where you’ll be required to stay in San Diego getting familiar with our team, products, and culture, and after that you could expect to spend an additional 2-6 weeks per year in San Diego throughout a typical work year. When we don’t have you in San Diego or at a customer site, you’re welcome to live wherever you’d like.
  • This position will require you to travel away from home and even outside the US for long periods of time. There are related perks: for every week you’re away from home (except in San Diego) you’ll earn very generous vacation allowances and travel bonuses. Seasats also provides a generous travel stipend while you're on the road, so you can expect to save money while on work trips.
  • In a travel-heavy year, you might spend 8 months working overseas, a month in San Diego, and the other 3 months on PTO. In a lighter year, you might spend 5 months overseas, 1 month on PTO, 3 months in San Diego, and 3 months providing remote support from wherever you’d like.
  • If you join, along with your salary you’ll receive competitive insurance and retirement funding plans, stock options, perks when you’re in San Diego (including free lunches, an employee activity fund, and a pet-friendly office), and an important spot in a rapidly growing ocean tech company. We’re extremely committed to helping new team members succeed by ramping up with well-scoped projects and regularly taking the time to discuss where things are working and what needs to change.

If you apply, we’ll ask for the following things:

  • Confirmation that you’re eligible to work in the US and would be eligible to obtain/hold a security clearance.
  • A resume.
  • 1-3 sentences on why this job excites you.
  • 1-3 sentences on your most relevant prior experience and why you believe it will help you in a job that can include both peaceful and stressful periods.
  • Possible start date (or range).