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Using the crowd to design new products is not a new thing. Platforms have long existed to crowdsource things such as new logos or t-shirts. Industrial heavy-weights such as Lego and Ford are also utilising their customers in the design process.
How about using the crowd to design a tank?
That's the idea behind a new project launched by Derpa. They are releasing open source design software that will allow us to design the drive-train for a new tank, and test that tank in competitions against other designers. The winning designers will then be put forward to design other parts of the tank.
The project is all being run and contained within the VehicleForge.org site. With the winning designer netting a cool $1 million, this is a fascinating way for the military to get new talent working on their design problems.
You can find out more about the project at the video below. If you want to enter, it starts on Monday 14th January.