LONDON - Internet search engine giant
Sven Juerss, the chief executive of Microdrones GmbH, a German firm which builds UAVs, has said that his company has already supplied Google with one aircraft and expects to provide “dozens” more in the future, The Telegraph reported Tuesday.
”The UAVs are well suited to provide more timely recording of the map service Google Earth,” Juerss told German business magazine Wirtschaft Woche.
Microdrones sells its UAVs to Merseyside Police, and it is rumoured to have previously sold them to British special forces as well, technology website, The Register, said.
The UAV, known as a “hicam microdrone”, is less than 1 metre wide and weighs less than a kg. It has four battery-powered rotors and can stay in the air for more than an hour. It navigates itself automatically and can take high-quality photographs of large areas beneath it.
The Register said the drones would most likely be used for cheap aerial photography.
Google’s existing Street View camera, which gather images of the streets while installed on a car, evoked controversy worldwide as various photographs were claimed to invade people’s privacy.
"Google is not testing or using this technology. This was a purchase by a Google executive with an interest in robotics for personal use," the company said this morning.
German business magazine Wirtshaftswoche reported that the company had bought a remote control, camera-equipped 'micro-drone' helicopter from German company Microdrones.
The company has already supplied unmanned aircraft to British police and special forces.
Sven Juerss, CEO of Microdrones, told the magazine that the tiny helicopter would be useful for Google's mapping projects, and that the company might buy more of the aircraft.
But today the search giant insisted that the miniature aircraft had been purchased by a company executive for his personal use, and that the company has no intention of using drones to gather mapping or any other type of data.
Google is no doubt anxious to allay fears about its data gathering methods, having only recently escaped legal action in the UK over Wi-Fi traffic data collected by its Street View cars. Investigations are still underway in other countries including Germany and the United States, where a class action lawsuit has been launched against the company.
It was reported last week that Google's Street View cars are back on the UK's roads.
Well everyone know how much evil Google is, I don't believe the denial by Google.