Aerobotics Drone Division of Grand Isle Shipyard celebrated its expansion and acceleration through the Opportunity Machine with a ribbon-cutting and open house on Thursday.

Aerobotics, co-founded by CEO Eric Langlinais and DaCoda Bartels, was acquired by Grand Isle Shipyard in September for use of its industrial inspection and survey services in the energy industries. Aerobotics was the first Louisiana company to use drone technology for offshore platform inspection as a safe and efficient practice for asset management.

“I'm so proud to be from Lafayette," said Bartels, president and UAV chief pilot and division manager. "The Opportunity Machine is such a great representation of how this city works together to cultivate new ideas and nurture people with the drive to see ideas through.

"The entrepreneur's journey to success is never done. Finding comfort in new friends willing to help us navigate is something we cannot just hope for— but is fundamental along the way.”

Through its acceleration program, the OM provided the office space to facilitate Aerobotics’ expansion in Lafayette. Aerobotics has signed a lease agreement to occupy space at 201 Settlers Trace Blvd., where it will run Grand Isle Shipyard’s drone division.

The OM is an initiative of Lafayette Economic Development Authority in partnership with Lafayette Consolidated Government, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and other agencies that helps grow business and entrepreneurship and create quality jobs. 

“Aerobotics represents the long tradition of the energy industry in Lafayette and the emergence of new, more efficient technologies," said Gregg Gothreaux, LEDA president and CEO. "Today’s graduation and ribbon-cutting adds to the positive diversification of Lafayette’s economy with the energy sector. Aerobotic’s success embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of the region that was the impetus behind creating the Opportunity Machine.”

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Follow Adam Daigle on Twitter, @adamdaigleAdv.