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Google acquires Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered drone maker
Google is best known for its Search and Android-related efforts, but it’s no secret that they also have their hands in a whole lot of different technology sectors including robotics, Internet fiber-optics (Google Fiber), modular computing, Internet of Things, wearables and the list goes on. Now the company has announced plans to expand its involvement in aerial technology, thanks to the purchase of Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed sum.
Titan Aerospace is a start-up that centers around the creation of high-altitude drones. The company is currently working on two dragonfly-like drones that are charged using wing-mounted solar panels and have batteries for night use. The Titan drones are both designed to fly continuously for years at a time.
As you might imagine, these type of drones could certainly be a great fit for several of Google’s internal projects. One obvious area that could could benefit from drone use is Maps, but Google has also confirmed that Titan’s 20-man team will work closely with Google’s Project Loon.
Project Loon’s goal is to bring reliable web access to remote locations using aerial technologies. Interestingly enough, Titan’s own website says its drones are “capable of delivering Internet speeds of up to a gigabit per second using specialty communications equipment” and could begin “initial commercial operations” in 2015. Certainly sounds like a match made in heaven.
[quote qtext=”It’s still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation.” qperson=”A Google Spokesperson” qsource=”” qposition=”left”]
Of course, Google already gets quite a bit of negative attention from privacy advocates that fear Google’s services and new Glass wearable are threats to our personal privacy and security. We have a feeling that adding drones probably won’t help Google’s case any.
What do you think of Google’s pending acquisition of Titan Aerospace? Are you at all concerned by the implications of Google embracing drone technology? Conversely, do you think Google’s involvement will ultimately benefit consumers, particularly those that currently don’t have reliable web access?