Google Buys Drone Maker Titan Aerospace
Google has purchased high-altitude solar-powered drone builder Titan Aerospace as part of the search engine giant's efforts to bring internet access to remote areas of the world.
Google snapped up the New Mexico company for an undisclosed fee, reportedly fending off rival Facebook which was also said to be interested in the company.
Titan Aerospace's website was blocked overnight and now carries a holding page with the Google logo and a short message.
"We're thrilled to announce that Titan Aerospace is joining Google. At Titan Aerospace, we're passionate believers in the potential for technology (and in particular, atmospheric satellites) to improve people's lives," it said.
"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.
"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."
Google is yet to comment on the acquisition but it feeds in well with Project Loon - the technology giant's plan to spread the internet around the world using balloons some 12 miles (20km) in the stratosphere above Earth.
Both Facebook and Google have plans to expand the reach of the internet with high-tech web systems.
In February, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg launched an ambitious plan to bring internet infrastructure to five billion people.
It is the second big buy-out in months by Google who purchased military robot-maker Boston Dynamics in December.