META will provide designers with open-source and Web-based tools to help them meet the following requirements:
Compositional design synthesis at multiple levels of abstraction
Design trade space exploration and metrics assessment with structural and information-based metrics of system complexity
Formal semantic integration of models across multiple physical and cyberdomains
Probabilistic verification of system correctness with respect to realistic context models using model checking and simulation traces
Vehicleforge.mil is a crowdsourcing site for collaborative development of cyberelectromechanical systems. It is similar to other forge sites used for open-source software development.
The development of the FANG is part of DARPA's Adaptive Vehicle Make program, which explores the use of new technology to shorten timelines for building complex electromechanical systems such as military vehicles. Last year, DARPA said it would invest $1 billion in forming better and faster development processes and technologies for defense manufacturing.
The military is experimenting with next-generation vehicle design through a number of projects. We reported in May on the demonstration of a concept combat vehicle designed not only for fuel efficiency, but also to act as a generator in remote locations like Afghanistan.
This is really an interesting application for crowd sourcing. Since it is a public venture, we should be able to see a little more clearly if it works (as opposed to a private company trying it). What is really surprising is that in the past a lot of what they are sending out to everybody would have been extremely classified for the people working on it.
I'm very interested to see how effective crowdsourcing design process will be on this project. We all have heard how military budgets can have schedule delays and cost overruns, so I would like to see if this new design technique will have an impact in this area.
Looks like DARPA continues to push the envelope in terms of leveraging crowdsourcing techniques to push combat vehicle design. The agency appeared to have enjoyed some pretty strong success teaming up with Local Motors on another combat vehicle, the XC2V, which was designed and built via the crowdsourcing approach in under six months. In fact, that project led President Obama to cite Local Motors' development approach as a model for American manufacturing innovation in a speech last summer.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.