Technology Other News 01 Jul 2018 Facebook axes its pl ...

Facebook axes its plans of building a drone to deliver internet access

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jul 1, 2018, 7:57 pm IST
Updated Jul 1, 2018, 7:57 pm IST
The drone named Aquila is supposed to be a solar-powered drone, which was designed to deliver internet access globally.
The drone was initially catered into Facebook's Internet.org project, which was aimed to 'connect the whole world'. (Representative Image)
 The drone was initially catered into Facebook's Internet.org project, which was aimed to 'connect the whole world'. (Representative Image)

The social media giant, which was recently accused of users data breach with Cambridge Analytica, was actually in plans to develop a high-altitude solar-powered drone. The drone was supposed to deliver internet access to the developing world. However, a new report suggests that Facebook is axing that drone before taking into shape.

According to The Guardian, Facebook is scrapping its plans to build the solar-powered drone named Aqulia. This high-altitude drone was initially developed by British aerospace engineer Andrew Cox, whose company was acquired by Facebook, back in 2014. The drone was initially catered into Facebook's Internet.org project, which was aimed to 'connect the whole world'. The drone's idea was to fly at higher altitude transmitting laser-based internet signals to base stations on the ground.

 

The report also suggests Facebook will no longer design and manufacture its own aircraft. According to the company's director of engineering, Yael Maguire, this decision was taken as per the growing interest from aerospace firms, which apparently left social media giant's own efforts not worthy.

“Going forward, we’ll continue to work with partners like Airbus on Haps [high altitude platform station] connectivity generally, and on the other technologies needed to make this system work, like flight control computers and high-density batteries,” Maguire wrote in a blog post.

 

The report also implies, the drone project was involved in covering up a crash at the end of its test flight, which the company had misguided the reporters as it was successful. However, this is one of the reasons for shutting down the project, while the other reason appears to be the number of setbacks for the programmes it was supposed to support like – Internet.org and Free basics.

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