According to their website, the Cornell University Unmanned Air Systems team (affectionately referred to as CUAir) is “an interdisciplinary project team working to design, build, and test an autonomous unmanned aircraft system capable of autonomous takeoff and landing, waypoint navigation, and reconnaissance.” In non-Ivy league simpleton words, Cornell has been experimenting with drones since approximately 2003.
Not only have they been experimenting, but also they have been kicking serious unmanned ass at competitions, which apparently exist. In fact, this year they placed 1st overall out of over 30 teams from around the world at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Student Unmanned Air Systems Competition. This basically means that they can do to us what Showgirls did to Elizabeth Berkley.
While this tournament primarily judges “design, integration, and demonstration of a system capable of […] autonomous flight, navigation of a specified course, and use of onboard payload sensors” (according to the AUVSI website) and not necessarily air-strike-ability, with all those engineers and scientists over at our Ivy-league counterparts, could they perhaps be experimenting with more devious intents? Not to put too fine a point on it, but our A&E center is rumored to be a whole foot taller than their glorious clock tower, and everyone knows our symbol of overcompensating phallic glory is just taunting them. I’m not saying it’s a viable reason to drone us. I’m just saying what everyone else is thinking: size does matter.
By Rachel Maus