Google has acquired drone maker Titan Aerospace, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Titan is a New Mexico-based company that makes high-flying solar powered drones.
There’s no word on the price Google paid, but Facebook had been in talks to acquire the company earlier this year for a reported $US60 million. Presumably, Google paid more than that to keep it away from Facebook.
It sounds like Titan will work on a variety of projects for Google.
- Titan will be able to collect photos from around the planet from high up, which could help with Google Earth and Google Maps.
- It will also contribute to Google’s Project Loon, which is sending balloons into the atmosphere which then beams Internet to parts of the world that are not yet connected.
- It’s also likely to work with Makani, another company Google bought, that gets wind power high in the sky, and delivers the energy back to earth through a long cable.
Google confirmed the acquisition to the Journal, and a spokesperson said, “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.”
Titan’s drones could potentially be in the air for five years at a time, relying on solar power to stay aloft, according to a report from last year.
Here’s what Titan’s drones look like:
Here’s how the drones work: