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USC students work to make Sir Big Spur's new ride

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Sir Big Spur, a fixture at Gamecock sporting events, is about to get an upgrade. If you've seen him at Williams-Brice or on ESPN, you might have noticed he's not exactly riding in style. But not for long.

A crack team of University of South Carolina engineering students are on the job to create the essential transport vehicle for the university's unofficial live mascot. They're calling themselves Team UAV, or what Unmanned Avian Vehicle.

"Because it is an unmanned vehicle that will have a bird riding on it," said student James Tolson.

"We want to make them something that's attractive, reliable, sustainable and efficient," said student Luke O'Hara.

We've shown you the bird's ride before. It doesn't exactly do him justice.

"This one will be judged by more than just me, I guess," said Professor Roger Dougall.

Dougall is overseeing 4 senior projects, including Team UAV's.

So far, the process hasn't gone much farther than concept and design. The team has given life to a cardboard box, though, just for a test of some of the basic components. The finished product will be sleek, carry a sound system, LED display, and electronic goal post.

Now, the real pressure is on.

"Most 403 and 404 projects if you don't get it done, as long as you show you've done the work, you're fine," said Tolson.

But if the students don't succeed, then someone else will have to step in or Sir Big Spur will keep riding dirty.

Team UAV is embracing the challenge, though, they hope Sir big Spur and at least 80,000 other fans at Williams-Brice appreciate it.

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