The rise of AI, robotics and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) will drastically change the industrial ecosystem. Worldwide spending on robotics is expected to reach $67 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. Robots will be essential for many different industrial applications and will take over a multitude of processes. They’re becoming smarter and more cost-effective every day and in the near future significant parts of every industry will be managed by robots. It is crucial that a secure and reliable data infrastructure is implemented to facilitate interaction between robots as the number of machines continues to grow
Swarm Robotics Security
Swarm robotics refers to the coordination of multiple robots as a group. Robots in a swarm interact with each other and their environment, achieving desired outcomes through collective behaviors. Swarm robotics is derived from biological studies of insects and other spheres in nature where swarm behavior occurs.
One of the main hindrances for the large-scale deployment of robots for commercial use is security. Swarm members require frameworks to detect and trust their counterparts. The inclusion of malicious swarm members could get in the way of the swarm reaching its goals as well as endanger overall security. Security in swarm robotics systems concerns core services such as data confidentiality, data integrity, entity authentication and data origin authentication. Swarm robotics systems do not have a practical solution to security in these fields, yet.
Security has been largely overlooked due to the complex characteristics of swarm systems such as robot autonomy, decentralised control and the large numbers of robots involved. With the use of DLT, swarm robots will be able to communicate through a reliable and secure network. The combination of DLT with robotic swarm systems can provide the means to make robotic swarm operations more secure, autonomous, flexible and subsequently, profitable. However, traditional blockchain technology faces a number of technical challenges such as scalability and transaction confirmation delays.
DAGs on the other hand, do not suffer from scalability problems and actually become increasingly efficient as network activities increase. peaq will be suitable for the many microtransactions and transferrals of data that need to take place in large robot swarms. Swarm robots can communicate through the reliable and secure peaq protocol, removing the necessity for implementation of centralised security protocols in swarm robotics.
Distributed Decision Making
Robots in a swarm need to reach agreements on issues such as which paths to travel, which shapes to assume or obstacles to avoid. A distributed decision making protocol is necessary to guarantee desired outcomes.
However, deployment of large amounts of robots with distributed-decision making is a challenge and several problems with collective decision making such as accuracy and speed have been found. Solutions for robot decision making with a higher degree of flexibility and sovereignty are necessary.
DLT is an ideal solution to ensure all parties in decentralised networks share an identical view of the world. DLT is enabled for the possibility of designing distributed voting systems for robot swarms that need to reach agreements. As an example, each time a robot in the swarm requires agreement it is able to issue a “special transaction” which creates an address associated with each possible option the robot swarm can choose. After the transaction is confirmed, the information is publicly available and other robots in the swarm can vote according to their situation. They could transfer one (micro) peaq token to the address which is attached to their desired option.
Agreements can be obtained very quickly in a secure and transparent manner since every robot is able to check the balance of each address involved in the decision making progress. The peaq DAG architecture is completely transparent and audible, and no trust is required between robots. All agreements and transactions between robots will be stored in the peaq DAG network. New robots introduced to the swarm will be able to automatically synchronise with the rest of the swarm by downloading the peaq ledger, since this contains the history of all agreements and knowledge previously discovered. For robotic swarm maintainers and operators this means that they do not need to invest in training phases for new robots. This will greatly cut down on costs and help the robotics industry progress further and faster.