Typically when the Pentagon puts out a tender for a new contract, it goes to to established defense contractors. Not so with the new XC2V FlypMode combat vehicle. This time, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) crowd-sourced the project, meaning that it opened up the contract to the general public to design.
The result is the vehicle you see here. Designed by the same Local Motors behind the Rally Fighter, the XC2V – shorthand for Experimental Crowd-derived Combat-support Vehicle – is, for the time being at least, a "proof of principle project," so we're not likely to see it go into production any time soon.
Whatever becomes of this impressively capable-looking vehicle, that Local Motors managed to put the whole thing together in just 14 weeks could be the most impressive part of all. Especially considering it would probably take us longer to build a kit car, and those have all the components and instructions ready to go. Follow the jump to watch the time-lapse video of the build from start to finish.
DARPA's Defense Manufacturing Efforts Support White House Vision
June 24, 2011
Adaptive Vehicle Programs Highlighted During Presidential Event
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recognizes that to innovate we must make and to protect we must produce. That understanding has prompted the Agency to plan to invest $1B over five years in manufacturing innovation for defense systems.
During an event today at the National Robotics Engineering Center, President Barack Obama addressed the key roles that advanced research in collaboration with government and industry can play in enhancing the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing, jumpstarting job creation and the process of bringing ideas to market.
DARPA's Experimental Crowd-derived Combat Support Vehicle (XC2V) was highlighted as an example of the power of collaboration and the democratization of innovation at the event. The XC2V is the first crowd-sourced, militarily relevant vehicle design. The DARPA XC2V effort, asked non-traditional DoD performers, small businesses, universities and the general public to contribute innovative ideas for a vehicle body designed to accomplish the critical mission tasks of combat resupply and medical evacuation. More than 150 credible designs were submitted, with the winning design taking less than fourteen-weeks to build.
XC2V was a proof of principle project to increase DARPA's understanding of crowd-sourcing as an approach to the development of complex military platforms in support of the Agency's Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) portfolio of programs.
According to Paul Eremenko, DARPA program manager, "AVM seeks to compress development timelines five fold to accelerate product development, and lower the barrier to participation in innovation and manufacturing."
An opportunity currently exists for innovative ideas to support a crtical element of the AVM portfolio-learn more about the Component, Context, and Manufacturing Model Library 1 (C2M2L-1) effort.