An interdisciplinary undergraduate team working with Prof. Ross Knepper is building an autonomous airship (or blimp). The team recently test-flew the remote-controlled blimp, which they plan to convert to automatic control this summer. Since the helium-filled blimp is lighter than air, it can remain aloft for long periods of time with minimal energy expenditure. Once automated, Knepper plans to use the airship to support scientific and conservation missions. Knepper's research is exploring how this and other robots can perform in persistently autonomous operation over long periods of time without human help.