Echoing a company belief in autonomous systems, clever algorithms, and replacing fallible humans with smart machines, Google's venture capital arm announced yesterday that it is investing $10.7 million in a company that makes drone brains.

AirWare's osFlexQuad

Full story at Popular Science

And also reported here: TechCrunch

Google has some history with UAVs - presumably for mapping. As well as considerable work in autonomous cars. $10.7M is pretty much a rounding error to Google Ventures, but it is an interesting bet for them.

An MD-200 Quadrotor Two years ago Google purchased one of these quadrotors from German manufacturer Microdrones wikimedia commons

Views: 1649

Comment by Austin H on May 17, 2013 at 11:58am

Unit Pricing for Standard Configurations

All prices include integrated INS solution, datalink radio, and onboard Linux computer, external GPS board, and software provided with source code under a royalty-free license.



Fixed wing

$8,500 USD

$6,900 USD


Long Range

Short Range

$5,500 USD

$4,900 USD



Fixed wing

$4,500 USD

$3,900 USD

Comment by Austin H on May 17, 2013 at 12:01pm

at this price point it doesn't appear to be a in direct competition with 3DR 

Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 17, 2013 at 12:33pm

That wiki Google UA link is slightly contentious, what I believed happened was that somebody at Google bought an MD and the MD company started telling everyone Google was a customer. Newspapers in the UK were asked to publish apologies. 

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on May 17, 2013 at 12:51pm

Austin, no, not exactly eh?

And gee, those even make the DJI Ace One look expensive!

I wonder how long DJI is going to continue with the silly pricing scheme on their helicopter systems?

Comment by Austin H on May 17, 2013 at 1:20pm

May the force be with open source 

Comment by Sgt Ric on May 17, 2013 at 1:26pm

@Gary, that makes sense that it's not a direct link to Google, especially after the public anti-UAV comments by their Chairman Schultz.

Comment by Jack Crossfire on May 17, 2013 at 3:23pm

Well, all of Google's past investment in RC copters amounted to Andy Rubin spending some of his salary on Rotomotion & Microdrones.  At least someone at Airware had enough connections in the Goog to get 100x more money than the average kickstarter copter, without  even having to sell t-shirts. 

Comment by Randy on May 18, 2013 at 1:23am

Oh, I met these guys from Unmanned innovation at AUVSI last year.  They seemed like a happy and smart bunch of people mostly within a couple of years of graduating from college.  They were very open to discussing the details of copter controllers, etc.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 18, 2013 at 3:12am

I know of at least six Google staffers that fly multi's in their spare time, working in various spots there. Lets not forget back in 07 somebody discovered the truth about the swimming pool at the Googleplex 

On searching for that link this made me smile 50k views whoop whoop.


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