For better or worse, we got ourselves a dot com boom. Unlike the 1st go round which affected everyone, it's all concentrated in 2 companies this time, they're a lot harder to get into, but that concentrated wealth is letting the lucky few do much bigger things.
It's going to be a hell of a flying space for developing indoor navigation algorithms, developing very efficient vehicles with wing loadings too low to fly outside, not having to wait for good weather. Imagine the Vicon system it's going to take to provide optical navigation data to the entire space. The Vicon system alone could be worth a few billion 3D Robotics's.
Google & Facebook are buying most everything with a roof, to perfect most everything from robots to cooking, to the fabled dot com foosball tables. With a lot more of the flying being done by the big companies, a lot more of a career that was once the domain of everyone is requiring master's degrees.
It's another sign of the UAV business following personal computers, internet service providers, Linux, & 3D printing. Micro startups have just enough capital to produce the starting point, but the true penetration of the technology ends up being dominated by the big companies with the capital to push through massive infrastructure & massive investment that it takes to bring the new technology to the masses.
The only way to survive is to get bought out or to go back to school.
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A Place to park their toys!
Worked on the Giant Wind Tunnel facility (biggest in the world) here for a few months many years ago and got to spend a lot of time in and around the old blimp hangars as well.
You always feel like an ant crawling around on the ground in this place, the scale has to be experienced to be appreciated.
Old guys in my Bay Area flying club tell stories about when this hangar was used for indoor fun flys. They were sadly cancelled when there were concerns about asbestos exposure.
Is this "indoor flying space" realy needed? I wish them it's no feature creep only.
I think lots of very interesting things are going to happen in there. I know folks are having meetings with them already.
Frankly, it could be as mundane as the google execs want a new, but retro-cool hangar to keep their jets in (which are based at the same field). Reading into it that it will be at the forefront of UAV is not supported by the press statements.