Facebook Follows Amazon, Google Into Drones With $60 Million Purchase

Mar 4 2014, 2:33pm CST | by

Facebook Follows Amazon, Google Into Drones With $60 Million Purchase
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Time to hop on the drone bandwagon — before it flies off without you.

Facebook, in a deal first reported by TechCrunch and CNBC, is buying drone maker Titan Aerospace for $60 million. It may not be anywhere close to the $19 billion Mark Zuckerberg spent on messaging service WhatsApp, but it could be another important piece in Facebook’s mission to bring the Internet (and therefore Facebook) to the developing world.

Facebook follows Amazon and Google into the robotics fray with this purchase. Amazon, who bought Kiva Systems for $775 million  in 2012 to put robots in its distribution centers, debuted its “Prime Air” service to deliver products by drone last December. Google bought robotics firm Boston Dynamics around the same time and has been refining its self-driving car technology.

Each tech giant sees robotics as the wave of the future, although the companies are using the technology to varying ends. Facebook’s goal could be to provide wireless Internet to under-served parts of the globe. Titan Aerospace makes solar-powered drones that can fly for as long as five years at near-orbital heights. These drones can relay communications and take on other jobs usually performed by satellites, at a fraction of the cost.

While the purchase signals possible growth potential for Facebook (the social network’s stock is up 1.6% on the day), it also looks good for other independent robotics companies that could be snapped up in future deals. iRobot stock, for example, is up 2.99% on the day, and over 25% year to date.

Follow Brian on Facebook and Twitter.

Calling All Drones

Source: Forbes Business

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Amazon Changes Self Publishing Forever - Again
Amazon Changes Self Publishing Forever - Again
The self publishing haven will only pay when books are read.
 
 
Uber says "NO!" to Guns for Passengers and Drivers
Uber says "NO!" to Guns for Passengers and Drivers
The recent increase in gun violence led to the change, the hitch-a-ride giant says.
 
 
More Sony Leaks: What Couldn't the New Spiderman Be?
More Sony Leaks: What Couldn't the New Spiderman Be?
Private emails that were released show that executives at Sony didn't want a black or gay Spiderman.
 
 
Gap to Close 175 Stores Soon
Gap to Close 175 Stores Soon
The retail giant is experiencing a multitude of problems.