Bird of a different feather

Thad Roppel’s electrical and computer engineering class recently “borrowed” Auburn’s new indoor practice facility to conduct a test flight that might normally be done inside Jordan-Hare Stadium by Auburn’s own Nova. Instead, Roppel’s students launched an ornithopter — a robotic cardinal that operates via remote control. Robo Nova, as it has been dubbed, was on display for two years before students Jarred Beck, Brian Pappas and Emile Ewing brought it back to life. The August test flight garnered attention across campus, and was featured in stories written by The War Eagle Reader, and the Opelika-Auburn News. Our Auburn ornithopter video has been viewed more than 8,000 times on the college’s YouTube channel at