Google has agreed to purchase drone maker Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed sum, the company confirmed on Monday. The company and its 20 or so employees will remain in New Mexico and operations will continue as usual according to Google executive Vern Raeburn.
The announcement comes less than two months after social networking giant Facebook was rumored as a potential buyer to the tune of $60 million. While Google and Facebook are vastly different companies with different products (excluding Google+), they both share a common vision of connecting the five billion or so people around the globe that don’t have access to the Internet.
It should come as no surprise that Google plans to use Titan Aerospace to assist with Project Loon, an undertaking that will use hot air balloons to beam Internet signals to those in regions not currently online. Project Loon is already off to a flying start as a balloon recently managed to circumnavigate the planet in just 22 days.
In a statement on the matter, a Google spokesperson said the two companies share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world. It’s still early days, the rep added, but atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of people and help solve their problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation.
Google may also use Titan’s technology on another endeavor called Makani, an airborne wind turbine that aims to generate energy at a lower cost than conventional wind systems.