DARPA, the Defense Department’s R&D wing, does some pretty amazing stuff. And when they aren’t getting what they want from their engineers, they let others help. Like in the Grand Challenge and its related programs — sometimes just dangling a cash prize and some specs out there is worth more than all your eggheads and skunk works combined.
The race this time is to build a combat support vehicle (the “XC2V”), and it’s said to be an excellent opportunity for engineers and designers to get involved. Local Motors is getting the word out and organizing the competition, which will have winners taking home up to $10,000—a drop in the bucket for the US government. The challenge has already begun and the final submissions are due March 3, 2011, so you should probably hurry. You can find out more here.