Without disclosing much details, Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of near-orbital, solar-powered drones. Facebook was the first company to bid for it last month, but was pushed aside during initial talks only. Although, financials of the Google-Titan deal are yet to be disclosed, Facebook was speculated to buy it for USD 60 million.
Launched in 2012, Titan Aerospace is a start-up manufacturer of solar-powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Prior to the deal, company operated a research and development facility located in Moriarty, New Mexico.
Its drones are capable of running at an altitude of 65,000 feet, continuously for five years, without needing to land. Also, they are less costly and equally effective as geostationary satellites.
Since last year, Google is working on its ‘Project Loon’, in order to make internet available across rural, remote, and underserved areas. This task is aimed to be implemented with the help of a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds.
In a similar initiative, Facebook is also working on its project internet.org, to bring internet to 5 billion people across the world in areas which are still underserved.
Titan was initially approached by Facebook. However, later, without revealing any specific reasons, the company dropped the deal and instead acquired Ascenta, a small UK-based company. The founders of Ascenta were known for creating early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft.
It seems that the world is moving to an entirely new domain with these drone makers. But, its yet to see, when and how efficiently, it would make a difference to the world in the coming times.
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