Last February, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) partnered with Local Motors and announced the Experimental Crowd-derived Combat-support Vehicle (XC2V) Design Challenge. The public was asked to design a military vehicle that could execute two types of missions: Combat Reconnaissance and Combat Delivery & Evacuation. A prototype of the winning design, the XC2V Flypmode, has just recently been constructed.
There were several requirements the winning design had to fulfill: the vehicle needed to be highly mobile, have superior visibility, provide the best survivability possible to its occupants, and be extremely easy to enter and exit. To help designers, Local Motors provided a basic “ignition kit” which included blueprints, templates, and logos. DARPA put up $7500 as a prize for the winning design and the crowd responded to the challenge with more than 150 submissions.
After the winner was selected, Local Motors managed to build the prototype in just 14 weeks. The Experimental Crowd-Derived Combat-Support Vehicle, aka XC2V Flypmode, was born.
The XC2V contest is a part of the Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) program at DARPA. The project was used as a test of the crowdsourcing community’s ability to produce a new military vehicle. The result was quite amazing as the military vehicle went from drawing board to fully functioning prototype five times faster than it normally takes for the military to produce a new vehicle.
AVM seeks to compress development timelines five fold to accelerate product development, and lower the barrier to participation in innovation and manufacturing.
Paul Eremenko, Program Manager at DARPA