Local Motors announces Flypmode concept wins DARPA XC2V competition

Flypmode wins DARPA XC2V Challenge – Click above for high-res image gallery

Local Motors is all about reaching out to the crowd and sourcing the best ideas as a team. It did just that in a new design contest, in which readers were tasked with developing a vehicle for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) XC2V Challenge.

That stands for Experimental Crowd-Derived Combat-support Vehicle, and three standout entries were chosen as finalists; Victor Garcia's Flypmode, Marc Senger's Kratos and Romain Chareyre's Sentinel.

To borrow a phrase from philospher hip-hop artist Busta Rhymes, it appears that Flypmode is the greatest. Kratos designer Marc Senger took home 2nd place and $1,500 while Chareyre's Sentinal earned 3rd place and $1,000. For finishing first, Garcia will receive $7,500 and his design will become an actual DARPA prototype. Check out the Flypmode in the gallery below, and click past the jump to read the full press release.

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[Source: Local Motors, DARPA]
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March 15, 2011

How novel of a design of a vehicle body might a crowd produce? And how fast? That was the goal of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Experimental Crowd-derived Combat-support Vehicle (XC2V) Design Challenge, which launched on February 3. A creative, innovative design community stepped up to complete the first part of that goal.

The XC2V Design Challenge asked individuals to co-create a vehicle body design for two different missions-Combat Reconnaissance and Combat Delivery & Evacuation – and submit these concepts for vote. This competitive challenge prompted designers to push the limits of creative design. Feedback from the crowd enabled designers to incorporate novel ideas and concepts.

More than 150 design entries were received and validated. Some of the entries that rose to the top included innovations for modularity, increased visibility, unique personnel carrying strategies, optimal equipment usage, and ease of ingress and egress. The top-three entries included many of these concepts. Voting ended March 10, 2011, and the winning vehicle will become a functional concept car in June of this year. The top three design choices are:

1) The FLYPMODE – Victor Garcia (United State)

2) The KRATOS – Marc Senger (United States)

3) Style and Design Studio (France)

With winners selected using current methods -the program turns to an analysis of crowd-sourced selection. The next research question becomes, how could crowd-sourced selection contribute to the goals of Defense manufacturing? Fundamental questions remain regarding the role of diversity vice expertise in such design and selection tasks. In the coming weeks DARPA will include potential vehicle end users in alternative engagements. This follow-on study seeks more answers and may allow for a second vehicle to be built. Side-by-side evaluation between crowd-selected and end-user-selected vehicles will be conducted.

Stay tuned for more as DARPA continues its research for the best methodology to get the best products in the hands of the warfighters in the shortest time possible.

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