The X Blog
News, stories and insights from the team at X
From grief to purpose

From grief to purpose

Lessons from human illness for the climate crisis
Keeping Loon’s legacy aloft

Keeping Loon’s legacy aloft

Loon’s flight data and technical learnings are now available to support stratospheric innovation and research
Beaming broadband across the Congo River

Beaming broadband across the Congo River

Taara’s wireless optical communications links are now beaming light-speed connectivity from Brazzaville to Kinshasa across the Congo River
Introducing Intrinsic

Introducing Intrinsic

Unlocking the creative and economic potential of industrial robotics for millions more businesses, entrepreneurs, and developers
When rapid iteration is the strategy

When rapid iteration is the strategy

Rapid iteration in practice
Why the electric grid needs a moonshot

Why the electric grid needs a moonshot

How can we bring the grid out of the industrial age and into the age of intelligent technology?
How to think in questions, not answers

How to think in questions, not answers

Tips for entering the what if? zone
Bringing light-speed internet to Sub-Saharan Africa

Bringing light-speed internet to Sub-Saharan Africa

Project Taara is working with Econet Group and its subsidiaries to roll out wireless optical communication links across their network starting in Kenya
Sharing Makani with the world: The Energy Kite Collection

Sharing Makani with the world: The Energy Kite Collection

Fly your own energy kite virtually and explore Makani’s technology with a new collection of open source materials
Tips for unleashing radical creativity

Tips for unleashing radical creativity

10 years of moonshot taking
All Stories
Optimism as a strategy
Optimism as a strategy
How “applied optimism” can help us tackle the climate crisis
From grief to purpose
From grief to purpose
Lessons from human illness for the climate crisis
Keeping Loon’s legacy aloft
Keeping Loon’s legacy aloft
Loon’s flight data and technical learnings are now available to support stratospheric innovation and research
Beaming broadband across the Congo River
Beaming broadband across the Congo River
Taara’s wireless optical communications links are now beaming light-speed connectivity from Brazzaville to Kinshasa across the Congo River
Introducing Intrinsic
Introducing Intrinsic
Unlocking the creative and economic potential of industrial robotics for millions more businesses, entrepreneurs, and developers
Designing for the unknown
Designing for the unknown
How ‘provisional specificity’ can clarify ambiguous problems
When rapid iteration is the strategy
When rapid iteration is the strategy
Rapid iteration in practice
Coming soon: Moonshot Lab — Israel
Coming soon: Moonshot Lab — Israel
Calling for Israeli scientists and entrepreneurs to join us for an adventure in 10x innovation
Sharing X’s moonshot for the electric grid
Sharing X’s moonshot for the electric grid
Reflections from the Leaders Summit on Climate
Why the electric grid needs a moonshot
Why the electric grid needs a moonshot
How can we bring the grid out of the industrial age and into the age of intelligent technology?
How to think in questions, not answers
How to think in questions, not answers
Tips for entering the what if? zone
Loon’s final flight
Loon’s final flight
Loon’s time as an Other Bet is coming to an end
A Puppet and a Robot Walk into a Moonshot Factory
A Puppet and a Robot Walk into a Moonshot Factory
How puppeteering with my parents led to a career in robotics
“Mother Nature waits for no-one”
“Mother Nature waits for no-one”
How the Mineral team created a mini-plant buggy while sheltering-in-place
A new home for Project Delta
A new home for Project Delta
After prototyping and testing a range of new technologies to help tackle food waste and food insecurity, we’re moving to Google to scale up our work
Drifting Efficiently Through the Stratosphere Using Deep Reinforcement Learning
Drifting Efficiently Through the Stratosphere Using Deep Reinforcement Learning
How Loon and Google AI achieved the world’s first deployment of reinforcement learning in a production aerospace system
Bringing light-speed internet to Sub-Saharan Africa
Bringing light-speed internet to Sub-Saharan Africa
Project Taara is working with Econet Group and its subsidiaries to roll out wireless optical communication links across their network starting in Kenya
“We value flying pigs, metaphorically and literally”: Astro Teller in conversation with Gideon Lichfield at EmTech 2020
“We value flying pigs, metaphorically and literally”: Astro Teller in conversation with Gideon Lichfield at EmTech 2020
Captain of Moonshots Astro Teller shares what X has learned from a decade of innovation about unleashing radical creativity
Sharing Project Amber with the mental health community
Sharing Project Amber with the mental health community
New open source resources to help researchers collect and interpret electroencephalography (EEG) data for mental health measurement
312 Days in the Stratosphere
312 Days in the Stratosphere
The innovations leading to Loon’s longest flight
How [not] to predict the future
How [not] to predict the future
An interview with Xer Phil Watson about navigating an uncertain future
Mineral: Bringing the era of computational agriculture to life
Mineral: Bringing the era of computational agriculture to life
A new name for a new way of seeing the plant world
The monkey, the tiger beetle and the language of innovation
The monkey, the tiger beetle and the language of innovation
What we’ve learned from 10 years of moonshot taking about choosing your words wisely — and the many benefits of doing so.
Sharing Makani with the world: The Energy Kite Collection
Sharing Makani with the world: The Energy Kite Collection
Fly your own energy kite virtually and explore Makani’s technology with a new collection of open source materials
Keeping it weird on National Avocado Day
Keeping it weird on National Avocado Day
Marveling at the weird history of avocado breeding
Loon is live in Kenya
Loon is live in Kenya
A new era of stratospheric communications has begun
Improving racial diversity, equity, and inclusion at X
Improving racial diversity, equity, and inclusion at X
I sent this note to Xers today and am publishing it here to share our commitment to improving racial diversity, equity and inclusion at X.
Innovating in place
Innovating in place
Lab lessons from Ratatouille’s Remy
Embracing the complexity of nature
Embracing the complexity of nature
Reflections on Biological Diversity Day
The secret superpower of the Class of 2020
The secret superpower of the Class of 2020
Thoughts for this year's graduating class
Bringing Loon to Mozambique
Bringing Loon to Mozambique
Expanding to our second market in Africa will bring connectivity to more people and operational efficiencies to Loon
Working with AT&T to offer a global connectivity solution in times of disaster
Working with AT&T to offer a global connectivity solution in times of disaster
Preparing all the necessary elements of a Loon deployment for the possibility of a disaster anywhere in the world is a tall order. But today, we’re taking a big step toward that goal with a global collaboration with AT&T that will put us in a position to respond more quickly and effectively to disasters worldwide.
Take me to Kenya
Take me to Kenya
How Loon balloons reach the Kenyans who need connectivity
Loon’s internet balloons approved to fly in Kenya
Loon’s internet balloons approved to fly in Kenya
Balloons being dispatched to Kenya are expected to arrive in a few weeks for final network testing
Introducing Tidal
Introducing Tidal
A moonshot to protect the ocean and feed humanity sustainably
A long and windy road
A long and windy road
Bringing Makani's 13-year journey to an end
Tips for unleashing radical creativity
Tips for unleashing radical creativity
10 years of moonshot taking
Thinking science-fictionally
Thinking science-fictionally
Learning from Asimov’s robot vision at 100
How energy kites expand the reach of offshore wind
How energy kites expand the reach of offshore wind
Makani CEO Fort Felker makes a call for collaboration across the wind industry
Introducing the Everyday Robot Project
Introducing the Everyday Robot Project
Teaching robots how to help us in our everyday lives
Creativity can combat climate change
Creativity can combat climate change
Why Makani is making kites that generate clean power
Makani’s airborne wind power system takes flight offshore
Makani’s airborne wind power system takes flight offshore
Makani's first flights from a floating platform
Energy kite flight footage from Hawai’i
Energy kite flight footage from Hawai’i
Makani has been successfully flying our M600 energy kite in Hawai’i since 2018
“We choose to go to the moon”
“We choose to go to the moon”
From the Apollo missions, a blueprint for pursuing the audacious and near-impossible
1 Million Hours of Stratospheric Flight
1 Million Hours of Stratospheric Flight
Innovations from the Machines Navigating Loon’s Balloons
Robotics is a team sport
Robotics is a team sport
Meet the team teaching robots how to learn
Introducing TensorNetwork
Introducing TensorNetwork
An open source library for efficient tensor calculations
Loon balloons are now connecting users in Peru
Loon balloons are now connecting users in Peru
During testing in preparation for commercial service, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit the Amazon region and Loon responded in 48 hours
Reigniting moonshot thinking in government
Reigniting moonshot thinking in government
How governments can implement moonshot thinking to bring about positive social change
Entering the era of computational agriculture
Entering the era of computational agriculture
Why agriculture is ripe for moonshot thinking
Making black history every month
Making black history every month
Celebrating past accomplishments and building a future where everyone can thrive
Makani takes to the ocean with Shell
Makani takes to the ocean with Shell
After five years of development at X, Makani is now an independent company and is partnering with Shell to bring energy kites to offshore environments
The connectivity brain behind Loon’s network
The connectivity brain behind Loon’s network
How software that orchestrates balloon-powered internet can do the same for satellites
Introducing the Loon Advisory Board
Introducing the Loon Advisory Board
Meet the industry experts who are helping Loon take off
How Assisted Reality is transforming hands-on work
How Assisted Reality is transforming hands-on work
How Glass fits into the flow of work to save time and money
Introducing Malta
Introducing Malta
A new approach to grid-scale energy storage
It’s peanut butter genie time*
It’s peanut butter genie time*
Augmenting human creativity with computers
Three trends to watch in enterprise wearables
Three trends to watch in enterprise wearables
The Glass team shares its experiences at the 2018 Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit
What fork fashions and wet weather can tell us about Glass
What fork fashions and wet weather can tell us about Glass
Astro Teller discusses tech adoption with Slate’s “Secret History of the Future” podcast
The road less traveled
The road less traveled
Tips for finding a career in moonshots
1 connection, 7 balloons, 1,000 kilometers
1 connection, 7 balloons, 1,000 kilometers
Creating a web of connectivity from the edge of space
Embracing the twists and turns of a career in robotics
Embracing the twists and turns of a career in robotics
What you should consider when applying to open roles in an inspiring and ever-evolving field
Celebrating the positive potential for robotics through film
Celebrating the positive potential for robotics through film
Reflections on the relationship between storytelling and robotics from the 8th annual Robot Film Festival
Bringing Loon to Kenya
Bringing Loon to Kenya
Reflecting on Loon’s journey and our first engagement in Africa
Graduation Day: Loon and Wing take flight
Graduation Day: Loon and Wing take flight
Introducing Alphabet’s newest Other Bets
The hot and cool of innovation in geothermal energy
The hot and cool of innovation in geothermal energy
How X’s innovation principles gave rise to the Dandelion Air
How chasing after nothing accelerates innovation
How chasing after nothing accelerates innovation
Reflections on “Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective”
Helping cities prepare for the future
Helping cities prepare for the future
Sarah Hunter joins government and non-profit leaders at Smart Cities New York
Inspiring the world to shoot for the moon
Inspiring the world to shoot for the moon
Miki Tomita interviews Astro Teller at the Earth Day Energy Summit
Moonshot thinking in machine learning: Applied AI takes flight
Moonshot thinking in machine learning: Applied AI takes flight
Astro Teller and Martin Giles in conversation at MIT EmTech Digital 2018
Challenging assumptions while delivering remote Internet service
Challenging assumptions while delivering remote Internet service
Esra Ozkan reflects on research and design lessons with Project Loon in Peru
Graduation Day: Introducing Chronicle
Graduation Day: Introducing Chronicle
Cybersecurity needs a moonshot
Living in modern times
Living in modern times
Why we worry about new technology and what we can do about it
Exploring a new approach to connectivity
Exploring a new approach to connectivity
Tests with Free Space Optical Communications
Turning on Project Loon in Puerto Rico
Turning on Project Loon in Puerto Rico
Following Hurricane Maria, Project Loon is now supporting basic communication and internet activities in Puerto Rico
Testing in the Australian skies
Testing in the Australian skies
Project Wing is collaborating with communities and partners in southeastern Australia to trial our delivery drones
Inside robotics at X
Inside robotics at X
Machine learning + robots = new approaches to humanity’s big problems
Change is in the air
Change is in the air
Why I’m optimistic about the airborne wind industry’s next chapter
A new chapter for Glass
A new chapter for Glass
Glass Enterprise Edition is now available to more businesses
Introducing Dandelion
Introducing Dandelion
Reducing carbon emissions from home heating and cooling with geothermal energy
Managing traffic in the skies
Managing traffic in the skies
How Project Wing is helping to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems into our airspace
From mall to Moonshot Factory: the history of X’s home turf
From mall to Moonshot Factory: the history of X’s home turf
While X’s walls can’t talk (yet!) the Moonshot Factory has many stories to tell
Helping out in Peru
Helping out in Peru
How Project Loon has helped connect people in flood zones around Lima, Chimbote and Piura
From kiteboard to energy kite
From kiteboard to energy kite
Makani’s path to power generation through prototypes
Debunking eureka moments
Debunking eureka moments
The scrappy reality of day-to-day innovation
Just make the friggin hat!
Just make the friggin hat!
Are you on Innovation Highway or Assumption Alley?
4 lessons from my mentor
4 lessons from my mentor
and the power of betting on people
Meet Gcam: The X graduate that gave us a whole new point of view
Meet Gcam: The X graduate that gave us a whole new point of view
The Graduate Series: A collection of stories where we look back at some of X’s graduated projects and see where they are today.
Building and breaking
Building and breaking
How experimental play can lead to creative problem solving
How Project Loon’s smart software learned to sail the winds
How Project Loon’s smart software learned to sail the winds
Balloon-powered internet takes a step closer to reality
How I learned to embrace my inner lazy, impatient idiot
How I learned to embrace my inner lazy, impatient idiot
How negative traits can actually be hidden superpowers
Graduation Day: Self-Driving Cars
Graduation Day: Self-Driving Cars
Introducing Waymo, a new Alphabet business
Lessons from Silicon Valley and Europe
Lessons from Silicon Valley and Europe
Each place can learn from the other: right now, more than ever, we need greater collaboration between them
Three things I learned from turning seawater into fuel
Three things I learned from turning seawater into fuel
Give as much attention to your cost model as to your prototype
Tackle the monkey first
Tackle the monkey first
Don’t use up all your resources on the easy stuff
“We’re gonna need some bigger socks”
“We’re gonna need some bigger socks”
Item #74275437
Drawing up a flight plan for moonshots
Drawing up a flight plan for moonshots
A case study from Project Wing
A Peek Inside the Moonshot Factory Operating Manual
A Peek Inside the Moonshot Factory Operating Manual
X's approach to inventing and launching new moonshot technologies
How to kill good things to make room for truly great ones
How to kill good things to make room for truly great ones
Thoughts on inertia, fear, and bravery
Load more stories