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.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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