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Facebook’s Helicopter Drone Project Got Grounded: Report

Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. In 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight

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Facebook releases Messenger redesign on Android, iOS. Pixabay

Facebook discontinued last year a small helicopter drone project that could temporarily replace cellular services in emergency situations, The Verge reported.

The project was discontinued a few months after being shown off at the F8 developer conference in May of 2017, said the report on Monday.

“Tether-tenna was a proof of concept project we were evaluating when we discussed it at F8 in early 2017,” a spokesperson for Facebook was quoted as saying.

The idea was to send a helicopter equipped with telecommunications equipment hundreds of metres up in the air to be able to tether to fiber and power lines in places where wireless capacity was compromised due to disaster or other factors.

“It wasn’t something we pursued further as we chose to focus our efforts on continued development and advancement of our Terragraph, millimeter-wave, and HAPS (high altitude platform station) programmes,” the Facebook spokesperson added.

Representational image.
The project was discontinued a few months after being shown off at the F8 developer conference in May of 2017, said the report on Monday. Pixabay

The Tether-tenna is, however, not the only aerial Internet project that Facebook has abandoned in recent times.

In June this year, Facebook announced it decided to abandon its plan to develop high-flying solar-powered drones called Aquila that was aimed to deliver Internet to nearly four billion people in remote parts of the world.

Also Read: Facebook Must Protect Children From Addictive Habits

A high altitude platform station (HAPS) system, Aquila’s mission, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.

Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. In 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight.

Tether-tenna was a much smaller scale idea compared to Aquila. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook To Come Up With Its Own AI Chip

"Facebook has been known to build its hardware when required -- build its own ASIC, for instance. If there's any stone unturned, we're going to work on it," Forbes quoted LeCun as saying in the interview on Monday.

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The internet has helped financial platforms attract money from financial novices with little knowledge of the risks involved. Pixabay

Facebook intends to develop its own Artificial Intelligence (AI) chips to facilitate faster computing needed to achieve new AI breakthroughs like digital assistants with common sense, said a media report.

In an interview with The Financial Times, Facebook’s chief AI scientist, Yann LeCun indicated that the social networking giant is already developing its own custom application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips to support its AI software.

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While Facebook prepares to work on its own AI chips, the company wishes to work with the existing chip-makers, the report added. Pixabay

“Facebook has been known to build its hardware when required — build its own ASIC, for instance. If there’s any stone unturned, we’re going to work on it,” Forbes quoted LeCun as saying in the interview on Monday.

While Facebook prepares to work on its own AI chips, the company wishes to work with the existing chip-makers, the report added.

Also Read: Is Mammography Test to Spot Breast Cancer Necessary At All? Find out Here

According to a report by Fortune, LeCun will outline his vision for AI’s future in a new research paper he is expected to present at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco on February 25. (IANS)