CUAUV Summer Information

CUAUV competes annually at AUVSI RoboSub in San Diego. The competition takes place at the beginning of August, so select team members spend the summer in Ithaca to finalize the subs for competition.

The members that stay are primarily new members. This is because it is easier for upperclassmen to get internships. Staying the summer provides a similar level of experience as an internship (if not more) and definitely makes it easier to get internships in the future.

Some team members may not feel comfortable committing their summer to the team, so the purpose of this document is to explain the reasons for staying the summer and address the various concerns that aspiring team members may have.

Note: Throughout this document, examples are used from the 2018 summer. Specific details may change from summer to summer.

Living the summer
  • Housing
    • Most team members sublet housing in Collegetown
    • Many Cornellians do not stay the summer, so there is plenty of housing available for subletting
    • Subletting Facebook page: Link
    • You can sublet from upperclassmen on CUAUV
    • Sublet rates are typically $400-500/month (for two months)
    • Collegetown housing is very close to the Engineering quad
    • You can also apply to be an RCA for the Cornell summer programs
  • Food Options
    • Summer meal plans are available
    • You can buy food and cook for yourself
    • Explore the range of restaurants available in Collegetown and Ithaca Commons
  • Fun and Entertainment
    • Weekly team dinners
    • Various team gatherings and events
      • 4th of July Fireworks
      • Fresbee
      • Collaborative cooking events
      • Movie nights
    • Explore Collegetown and Ithaca
  • Activities other than AUV
    • Part-time summer jobs
    • Paid Research
    • Summer Classes
    • RCAing for the Cornell summer programs
  • Most students participate in activities in addition to CUAUV and team members can easily manage both CUAUV and another activity
  • Full-time jobs or activities requiring full-time commitment are generally not recommended
Opportunities and Knowledge
  • Experience
    • Summer work on the subs provides valuable hands-on robotics experience
    • Team members have a lot of responsibility as the core of the team, and this degree of responsibility is hard to come by in internships or research
    • Members that stay the summer are consistently the most experienced on the team and regularly take on leadership roles
    • The summer gives you experience not just on your own subteam, but also on the other subteams because we all have to work closer together to get the subs ready for competition
  • Team Bonding
    • Staying the summer brings you close to your teammates and promotes team cohesion
    • Teammates staying your summer may become some of your closest friends
  • Networking
    • CUAUV already provides tremendous networking opportunities, but staying the summer is an extra boost
    • Many companies who sponsor the event including Teledyne, Blue Robotics, and SpaceX talk with us at competition which is great for potentially getting internships
    • Several alumni and upperclassmen come to competition
What do we do over summer?
  • Software
    • Finalizes all vision modules and missions for completing robosub tasks
    • Tests mission code extensively in Teagle and the simulator
    • Performs final integration and prepare for competition
  • Electrical
    • Finalizes embedded code and integrates with sub computer
    • Debugs any issues and gains experience with projects other than their own
    • Populates, codes, and tests backup boards for each sub
  • Mechanical
    • Finalizes manipulator design for competition
    • Creates mission elements for testing in the pool
    • Machines or 3D prints parts for manipulators or anything else that may be needed
Competition/Trip to San Diego
  • Air Travel
    • We fly from New York (airport varies by year) to San Diego
    • We return to Ithaca after the competition, although team members may elect to fly directly home
    • CUAUV pays for airfare
  • Lodging
    • The Team stays together at the Robosub official hotel (varies by year)
    • CUAUV pays for the hotel for all members who stay the summer
  • Location
    • The competition is held at the TRANSDEC Naval facility
    • The team provides transportation to and from the competition
    • The competition lasts for about a week
  • Food
    • Food funds are pooled at the beginning of the trip to make management easier
Overview of Finances
  • CUAUV pays for airfare and hotels in San Diego
  • Primary Expenses for the summer
    • Subletting an apartment: $400-500/month = $800-1000 total
    • Food for over the summer: varies depending on eating habits
    • Food during competition (usually about $200 pooled up-front)
  • A paid research position or job can help to cover these expenses
Staying the summer for CUAUV is a highly rewarding experience and allows new members to get more hands-on experience with the subs. Many current and past members have stayed the summer and can provide guidance for staying the summer. Most importantly, staying the summer is fun and a great opportunity to bond with the team.
If you have any questions, please email us at or talk to us at an info session or recruiting event.