January 1, 2013  


To DARPA for putting a new wrinkle in weapons development: crowd-sourcing.

Having achieved more or less spectacular results in the field of autonomous vehicles through its Grand Challenge contests, the research agency is now launching a competition to design an amphibious fighting vehicle. To raise the bar, it’s spotting potential contestants a library of design elements and a simulator environment to test them in.

While DARPA isn’t aiming to produce short-term benefits, but rather to unlock long-term promise, one can’t help but wonder if the Marine Corps’ canceled multibillion-dollar AAAV program might — just might — have benefited from something like this.