Facebook Connectivity Lab engineering director Yael Maguire spoke about the social network’s plans to use drones to help connect developing regions to the Internet in a conversation with Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore at the 2014 Social Good Summit in New York Monday.
Those may have been the drones Facebook was looking for, but they now belong to Google. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google will acquire Titan Aerospace, a near-orbital, solar-powered drone manufacturer that the social network was reportedly in talks to acquire last month, with an eye toward using its Solara 60 unmanned aerial vehicles to help provide Internet access to unserved parts of the world, starting with Africa, as part of the Internet.org initiative.
Perhaps Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is just a wee bit excited about the Connectivity Lab, the initiative aimed at using high-altitude long-endurance planes, satellites, and lasers to help connect the rest of the world to the Internet. Zuckerberg followed up Thursday’s announcement on the Internet.org site, as well as his own post on Facebook, with a lengthy post (embedded below) offering a more detailed look at Connectivity Lab.
Facebook’s Connectivity Lab: Drones, Planes, Satellites, Lasers To Further Internet.org Mission Of Bringing Connectivity To The Whole World
Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a drone from Facebook? The social network Thursday announced the formation of the Connectivity Lab, which is made up of experts who previously worked with U.K.-based Ascenta, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Ames Research Center, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.