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Google to buy drone-maker Titan Aerospace

Google Buys Drone Maker, Hopes to Connect Rural World


(Reuters) - Google Inc has acquired solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace as the Web search giant ramps up plans to deliver wireless Internet access to remote parts of the world.

Titan Chief Executive Vern Raburn declined to provide information on the price of the deal, which he said closed on Monday morning.

The 20-person company will remain in New Mexico for the foreseeable future, Raburn said, with all employees joining Google.

The deal could further Google's efforts to deliver Internet access to remote regions of the world. Last year Google launched a small network of balloons designed to deliver Internet access over the Southern Hemisphere, dubbed as Project Loon.

"Atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation," Google said in an emailed statement confirming the Titan acquisition.

Google's acquisition of Titan comes several weeks after rival Facebook Inc announced plans to build solar-powered drones and satellites capable of beaming Internet access to underdeveloped parts of the world. A few weeks before Facebook's announcement, press reports said that Facebook was in discussions to acquire Titan.

Titan is developing a variety of solar-powered "atmospheric satellites," according to the company's website, with initial commercial operations slated for 2015. The drones, which fly at an altitude of 65,000 feet and can remain aloft for up to five years and have a 165-foot (50-meter) wingspan, slightly shorter than that of a Boeing 777.

News of the acquisition was first reported on Monday by the Wall Street Journal.

(Reporting By Lehar Maan in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Andrew Hay)

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GB April 14 2014 at 9:09 PM

5 years in the air. That's pretty amazing.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
LewTag April 14 2014 at 9:19 PM

copy cats...Zuckerberg has been onto this for some time...

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estela92 April 14 2014 at 7:32 PM

AHHHHHH TH 21 ST CENTURY.........LOVE ALL THE IDEAS.............NOW IF THE POLITIANS DON'T SCREW IT UP WE MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING GREAT HERE.................LET'S KEEP CONGRESS OUT OF THIS IF POSSIBLE, OH AND THE BANKS AND THE OIL COMPANIES.................................

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1 reply
majorg1000 estela92 April 14 2014 at 10:04 PM

I'm still waiting for my moving sidewalks and jet pack...

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lstnvlly April 14 2014 at 10:24 PM

Seems to me that these " underdeveloped" countries must have buckets of cash
to fork over for such an internet connection.
Personally, I just see more cloud computing, more tracking and better spying.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
ironzo April 14 2014 at 10:58 PM

Kind of pointless until they have things like electricity and computers, wouldn't you say?

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Scotty April 14 2014 at 8:30 PM

The Internet should be provided free to everyone on Earth.

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2 replies
nate009 Scotty April 14 2014 at 8:46 PM

Cool, so should food. Where's the money coming from?

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majorg1000 Scotty April 14 2014 at 10:03 PM

So should food and medical care. Don't hold your breath.

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