GE, MIT and DARPA are developing “vehicleforge.mil,” a crowdsourcing platform that will allow experts to collaborate on the design and rapid manufacture of complex systems such as military vehicles, aviation systems and advanced medical devices. The effort is meant to reduce the development time of such “cyber-physical systems,” which today can take decades to create.
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GE and MIT are building a demonstration platform to support DARPA’s ongoing Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) portfolio. DARPA wants to attract “breakthrough ideas and concepts that could revolutionize the design and manufacture of military vehicles and other complex defense systems. ”
GE says the platform, scheduled to launch late this year, is a key part of its efforts to build an “Industrial Internet” that connects data, design tools and simulations in a collaborative environment.
Recently, GE began expanding its software programs to leverage big data into industrial product development methodologies. As part of the expansion, the company opened a global software headquarters in San Ramon, Calif., that will employ 400 software professionals.
The “crowd-driven ecosystem for evolutionary design” — CEED for short — is designed to allow participants to share, re-use, re-mix and evolve design sources made available by others and test the results. Developers would be able to manage processes and track changes, as well as share their ideas as either open source or protected services.
CEED is based on MIT’s Distributed Object-based Modeling Environment (DOME) concept, an Internet-based computing infrastructure that lets users publish geometric design, CAE, manufacturing or marketing capabilities as live services. Design teams can then rapidly create integrated models using these services “in a spontaneous, ad-hoc manner,” instead of a rigid design methodology, explains David Wallace, an MIT mechanical engineering professor. Completed software products will be open sourced and used to support portions of vehicleforge.mil.