Can you crowdsource a tank?

Crowdsourcing products is far from a new idea.  Lego for instance have been using their best customers to design some of their products, whilst Ford have also been bringing customers into the design process.

Both of those products are things a consumer might think they have some good insights into of course.  What about a tank?

It’s something the US Department of Defence is experimenting with.  Their crowdsourcing project was born out of the $13 billion flop to design a new Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle for the Marines.  With that project failing to deliver on expectations, the Darpa group has decided to try a different approach.

Darpa will release open source software that will let any of us have a go at designing and testing a tank of our own.  What’s more, we can then test our creations against those of other designers, with the winner earning themselves a cool $1 million.

The competition will begin on Monday when the design software is released to the public.  The website will be used to manage the contest.

Initially designers will be asked to design the drive train part of the vehicle.  The top contestants from that will then be moved forward to the design of other parts of the vehicle.

You can find out more about the challenge in the video below:


2 thoughts on “Can you crowdsource a tank?

  1. So they spent a few billion designing one, yet will reward someone just $1 million for doing the same? Is this designing on the cheap?

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