There appears to be an upsurge of interest on drones these days, from Facebook plans of using drones to deliver Internet and Amazon with its plan to eventually use it for deliveries. Indeed, InformationWeek has just reported that Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered aerial drones has been acquired by Google for an undisclosed sum.
The interesting part of this is that Facebook had reportedly been negotiating to acquire Titan Aerospace for $60 million just last month. For reasons unknown, the social networking giant apparently abandoned Titan and purchased a UK-based drone maker called Ascenta instead. As it is, speculations was that Google offered a price much higher than what Facebook was prepared to pay.
Google and Facebook both envision solar-powered drones as a way to offer Internet connectivity around the world, bringing Internet access to everyone on the globe. Indeed, drones have many use cases that goes beyond Internet delivery, and can empower niches such as industrial monitoring, scientific research, mapping, communications, and disaster assistance.
“Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world,” says Google in an official statement. “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. It’s why we’re so excited to welcome Titan Aerospace to the Google family.”
One thing going for drone makers is how the field is relatively unregulated at the moment. Are they are currently not considered as commercial or model aircraft, commercial drones currently exist inside a regulatory grey area. While new rules that specifically target drones are currently being planned, they are not expected to be ready until next year.