German Magazine Wirtschaft Woche reported at the weekend that Microdones, have sold a unit to Google. This has sparked comments over data protection fears.
Microdrone CEO Sven Juerss, told Wirtschaft Woche that his company hopes to deliver dozens more drones to Google soon.
“The UAVs are well suited to provide timely recording of the map service Google Earth,” says Juerss. Civilian UAVs are unmanned flying vehicles with a range of several thousand meters, which can fly at a speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour. The aircraft can fully automatically image whole neighborhoods”
Googles Street view is itself controversial with the back yard view possibilities of flying robot data capture even more problematical.
The use of the UAS by Google in US airspace for data gathering would be illegal under current FAA guidelines. The NAS (National Air System) is not thought to be opened up to civilian sUAS in the USA until at least 2013
Microdrone operators have fallen foul of air law before, Merseyside Police were reminded of the changes in CAA rules earlier this year.
Perhaps somebody in the Googleplex has bought one for fun.
Its not the first time an sUAS has flown over the Googleplex. Back in 2007 Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine flew his simple craft over the campus and revealed that the word Google, visible at the bottom of the swimming pool in the Google Earth image was not actually there in reality. Not much of a revelation, but a nod to whats possible.
Read more about Chris Andersons UAV mission over the Googleplex here