A couple of years ago, we told you about the innovative technologies being developed at Makani, the company that sends flying robot turbines into the sky to generate power. In what is probably not a coincidence, Google has acquired the company just days after it successfully accomplished what may be the most crucial component to making it a viable solution worldwide.
The acquisition was revealed in a Bloomberg article published yesterday that focused on Google X, the lab that gave birth to bleeding-edge projects such as Google's self-driving cars and Google Glass. In a statement confirming the Google acquisition, the company announced, "this formalizes a long and productive relationship between our two companies, and will provide Makani with the resources to accelerate our work to make wind energy cost competitive with fossil fuels."
Just last week, Makani successfully conducted what it calls the first fully autonomous flight of an airborne wind generation system. This means that Google's footprint in the robotics market now has both ground (cars) and air (UAVs) components, two disparate areas of focus that could eventually give rise to something far more important than anything in its current suite of software services.
With a $6.8 billion R&D budget (in 2012), Google X could be poised to take Makani from experimental green energy flight of fancy to a real world solution that powers the next century. You can watch Makani's autonomous flight test of its Wing 7 prototype in the video below.