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News Link • Military

Crowd-Sourced Tanks Roll Closer

• Graham Warwick via Ares
 DARPA is continuing its crusade to change the way we make things, selecting Vanderbilt University to set up the website to enable software-style "open source" development of military systems, beginning with a ground combat vehicle.

Vehicleforge is the centerpiece of DARPA's Adaptive Vehicle Make initiative to revolutionize manufacturing. This is modeled on the IT industry, where software development is "crowd sourced" and microchips are designed using high-level model libraries and fabricated by sending the design data to automated factories equipped to make any type of chip at the flip of a digit.

In DARPA's vision, its META program will provide the high-level "metalanguage" and component model library for development and verification of the design. Vehicleforge will provide the online infrastructure for collaborative development. And iFAB will provide the reconfigurable "build-to-print" facility to manufacture different versions of the ground-vehicle family.

All three are to be used to design and built FANG — the Fast, Adaptive, Next-Generation Ground Combat Vehicle — with the goal of producing a better vehicle, faster and cheaper than conventional development and production methods. FANG is to be developed through open-source chassis/drivetrain and body/survivability challenges, similar to the one that produced DARPA's XC2V "concept" scout car.

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XC2V (Photo: Local Motors)

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