Facebook, Google and Amazon are on a buying and investment frenzy on robotics and drones. During last December Google bought six robotics companies
Its been on the cards for a few years now but it looks certain that we will be seeing the use of high and low altitude drones for commercial and domestic use in the very near future. Facebook were in talks with high altitude drone maker Titan Aerospace before Google snapped up the company for an undisclosed sum. Facebook settled with the purchase of Ascenta, a U.K. based maker of solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles, for a mere $20 million. And of course we can’t leave out Amazon who has been actively testing drone technology for a number of years with the promise of delivering packages of up to 2.3 kg in under 30 minutes from the initial order. Now that’s fast delivery.
In fact, Amazon are already poised to roll out their delivery drones but are waiting for the necessary commercial regulations to be put in place which is not far of as civilian air space is expected to be opened up to all kinds of drones in the US by 2015 and in Europe by 2016.
So why the intense interest in drones by companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon? Well, if you are reading this article, then you’re one of the lucky ones because 61% of the planet still has no Internet access, so for the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon the stakes are high, and there is a lot of profit to be made, especially from high altitude drones that can deliver Internet access to remote areas of the planet.
The commercial ramifications of connecting the remaining 61% of the planet are enormous. By 2025 it is estimated that in the US alone, the commercial drone industry will generate more than 100,000 jobs and add at least $82 billion to the economy. Both Facebook and Google are all about ‘connecting the planet’, for profit of course, whilst Amazon’s Jeff Bezos sees the immediate advantage in the fast delivery of everything Amazon has to offer.
With everything remotely stored and cloud based, could drones become part of our everyday life?