Google drones patented to expand from Project Loon balloons

14 Oct 2015

Image of drone via Titan Aerospace (now Google-owned)

Deep within Google, the company is working on two new drone concepts as part of something called Project Titan that, it says, will be used for internet access and surveying, rather than delivery.

The details surrounding the Google drones have been somewhat murky, with the discovery earlier this month that Google had registered two drone patents with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

But originally it had been suggested that it was related to Google’s Project Wing, which was looking at developing its own range of delivery drones, similar in concept to what Amazon has been working on.

Now, according to Re/code, sources within Google have denied that this is the case, rather the drones will contribute to the more excitingly named Project Titan, which is part of Alphabet’s Access and Energy division.

The name stems from Google’s purchase of the drone developers Titan Aerospace back in 2014, which has been leading Google’s own drone designs, and it appears to be merely coincidental that it shares the Project Titan name with Apple’s electric car project.

The sources within Google said that these new drones will effectively be expansions upon Google’s Project Loon, which is looking to release a series of high-altitude balloons that will beam internet connectivity to remote areas of the planet.

The Google sources also said that, aside from internet connectivity, the drones will also be engaged in data harvesting, particularly in relation to the deforestation of the planet.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic