Google definitely knows how to spend its money. First, there was Boston Dynamics. A month later, it was Nest. And today, it's the New Mexico-based drone company Titan Aerospace.
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Google has confirmed the acquisition today in a statement sent to the Wall Street Journal, although the financial details were not disclosed.
"It is 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," a Google spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, Titan Aerospace affirmed the deal today on its website.
"At Titan Aerospace, we’re passionate believers in the potential for technology (and in particular, atmospheric satellites) to improve people’s lives. It’s still early days for the technology we’re developing, and there are a lot of ways that we think we could help people, whether it’s providing internet connections in remote areas or helping monitor environmental damage like oil spills and deforestation," the company said. "That’s why we couldn’t be more excited to learn from and work with our new colleagues as we continue our research, testing and design work as part of the Google family."
By acquiring Titan Aerospace, Google will now gain access to the startup's jet-sized drones that could fly non-stop for years. Its Solara 50, for example, has a 164-foot wingspan and relies on solar power.
Google could use these drones on its projects. One of them will be Project Loon, the company's ambitious goal of using balloons to proffer Internet access to far-flung places around the world. Unlike balloons, which are at the mercy of the changing weather conditions, solar-powered drones can fly uninterrupted for days. Google may also use Titan's drones to improve its Google Maps services.
Interestingly, Facebook was the first to approach Titan Aerospace. But Google reportedly vowed to beat whatever price Facebook offered. Facebook ended up acquiring another drone company: Ascenta.