Facebook Shuts Down Another Ambitious Drone Project

In a recent article, we mentioned Facebook shutting down its plans for a massive drone. This drone project, named Aquila, had big plans for internet distribution. It was a drone wide enough to have a number of solar panels in its wings. With it, it can remain airborne for months at a time. Its main job? To beam internet connection to its vicinity, while getting signal from a source. The Aquila drone will then roam the planet – for months at a time – delivering free internet to its area. The whole scheme involved multiple Aquila drones flying around.

But, of course, it received the axe from Facebook, and that was that. The entire project, all the way to production and factory levels, closed. But it seems that Facebook project woes are still not over.

Tether-tenna Facebook Project Receives Cancellation:

Another of Facebook’s projects, Tether-tenna, has stopped development. Tether-tenna is a helicopter drone which functions similar to Aquila. The main difference is that while Aquila provides internet connection, Tether-tenna provides cellular service. This means that the area in its vicinity will instantly receive signal, which can be handy in emergency situations.

That idea, however, will never become a reality.

The most Tether-tenna had in its development is a prototype that can land, hover, and take off. Videos and images of the prototype circulated a few months ago, and brought a lot of attention to the project. But after a seemingly successful testing, they are shutting it down.

Tether-tenna faced a number of problems which ended up getting it cancelled. The main concern, and the same goes with Aquila, is the hardware side of things. It’s fairly easy to make a concept, it’s harder to make it a reality. The limitations in Facebook’s tech, along with complications with actually pulling off what the drones are needed, required more resources than Facebook wants. At the end of the day, they were interested with aerial connectivity, they are not comfortable with the required resources.

Another problem Facebook faced is that these drone ideas are not unique or exclusive to their company. Several space flight and technology companies showed interest in making these ideas a reality. With them having more qualified personnel, and a lot more expertise on the subject, it is hard to compete.

At the end of the day, an idea remains only an idea unless one has the resources and skill to make it a reality.




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