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Tuesday, 15 April 2014 12:06

Google buys drone business

Written by Nick Farrell



A tool to hunt Apple lawyers

Search engine Google has written a cheque for a drone company of its very own. While many might wonder who it might be that Google wants to launch its own missiles at, other than Apple lawyers, apparently the sort of drones this outfit makes are not for military purposes.

Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, the drone startup that makes high-flying robots. Facebook was originally interested in the company but wrote a cheque for Ascenta instead. Titan makes high altitude drones, which cruise nearer the edge of the earth’s atmosphere and provide tech that could be integral to blanketing the globe in cheap Internet connectivity in remote areas online. Google will be using Titan Aerospace’s expertise and tech as part of its Project Loon which is a the balloon-based remote Internet delivery project it’s currently working on. The drones might also be involved in taking high-quality images in real-time that could help with Maps initiatives, as well as contribute to things like “disaster relief” and addressing “deforestation,” a Google spokesperson said.

The main goal, however, is likely spreading the potential reach of Google and its network. Titan had sparked early interest from VCs thanks to its massive drones, which were capable of flying at a reported altitude of 65,000 feet for up to three years. Drones could conceivably make a network of Internet-providing automotons than balloons because they are easier to control.

Nick Farrell

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