Automated Machine Payment with IOTA

AKITA
AKITA
Sep 27 · 6 min read

For the mass adoption of Distributed Ledger Technologies (commonly known as “Blockchain”) it is crucial to make the technology tangible and usable for real world use cases. AKITA x IOTA have set their goals to achieve exactly this. Based on previous PoC/ prototypes that AKITA has successfully delivered from the idea to physical exhibitions (e.g. Hannover Messe 2018, iampass, Dubai Blockchain Summit 2019), we are now creating a prototype showcase that is virtual and physical demonstrator, which people all over the world can experience live.

Vision: Enable direct M2M payment

For the first version of our virtual implementation you can visit our dedicated project website and click through 2 Use Cases that demonstrate human-to-machine (H2M) and machine-to-machine (M2M) automated payment and service delivery.

Live Demo Process

The first scenarios that we have published simple and straight forward. You have a digital wallet and the option to buy either a new laptop a or some new headphones:

  1. Click on your preferred product to start the production and payment process. All following steps are completely automated!
  2. The price for the product will be send from your wallet to the respective machine wallet of robot making your product
  3. Once the transaction is confirmed the robot requires energy to make your product. With the new balance on its machine wallet it can directly buy energy from an energy producer (wind or solar in our case)
  4. The energy provider delivers back energy to the robot
  5. The robot produces your laptop or headphones and it gets delivered directly to you
  6. There is a pop-up link to both Invoices of step 2 and 3 based on the immutable distributed ledger on the Tangle
Virtual H2M and M2M Payment/ Production demo
Payment and production process flow
Immutable Invoices for H2M and M2M transactions

Technical Note: The current live implementation runs on the IOTA Tangle Development Network and is not sending actual Tokens, but a 0 value and 0 tx cost transaction each time. We have also another version available with actual tokens being send on each transaction, but the user has to wait for the next milestone confirmation (approx.1–2 minutes) for the process to move on. Additionally we have already developed and tested this on the Main Network with Tokens that have also real value that can be transformed back and forth with fiat ($,€,etc.).

Business and Economic Impact

While this demo is not reflecting the complete complex process of the production and logistics, there are actually a few very interesting innovations implemented in this process:

  • Providing a machine with its own “bank account” or “machine wallet” reduces the need for secondary payment systems and makes each machine an active economic participant. This is going to reduce transaction costs on many levels dramatically and enabling a direct H2M and M2M economy.
  • Automation and increase in productivity is more than ever key KPIs for most CEOs today. Based on the previous described economic upgrade, machines have now the capability to buy and sell services directly to each other, automate production and delivery based on payments and speed up the overall process.

Physical hardware live demo

From the beginning we have build this as a complete modular system, meaning we are using 90% the same code for a virtual or a physical implementation. Since the virtual demonstration has the advantage of being portable and live instantly everywhere in the world, it lacks the tangible element of a real, physical live experience. Therefore we are building and testing the hardware based implementation in parallel with the goal to present it to a broader audience in 2020. Partnering with universities and industry brands is another task that we are working on, where we have already signed NDAs and looking forward to go public as soon as everything is agreed and ready on all sides.

Here are some behind the scenes pictures of our journey so far:

Robot Arms in different sizes …
… with individual energy consumption and electro-technical challenges
Solar Panels in various sizes matching the energy requirements for the robots
and some 3D printed ideas and LEDs for the showcase

M2M Production Full Nodes

Decentralized networks and nodes are the basis for each DLT technology. In order for a production application we believe that the decentralized nature should be protected by all means, but we need to provide a reliable entry point into the network. Imagine your your business is connected to a single node that is hosted by any random person. How do you know if that person does not suddenly switch of that node or does not keep up with maintenance, new IRI versions, keeping enough active neighbors, etc.?!

Since the overall network and nodes can be run by anyone who joins and leaves the network, the entry point into the network should be production ready with reliable 24/7 and 99,99% up-time guarantee. Our team has experimented a lot with different nodes, fail-over architecture and full nodes. We are still in the R&D state but provide servers that are intended to guide the way into an Enterprise Tangle Node service. Try out these addresses in your wallet or IOTA application:

https://node0.akitablock.io

https://node1.akitablock.io

This list and service will be extended and provide more features with each iteration and could also develop into an enterprise service that provides the necessary safety and confidence for companies to run their IOTA based products in their daily business.

Professional Data Center Server Racks from our innovation lab project partner

Software

There are more and more projects and prototypes building their Use Cases and Hardware based on IOTA Tangle. But it seems that similar or even the same basic functions are written from scratch over and over again by every team working individually on their project. We came up with the idea of a modular structure that can be reused and extended with specific functions and triggers.

The first of our modules is a real booster for Node.js applications, the iota-payment module. It delivers features to setup iota payment functionality with almost no time. This module handles the secure token transfer and developers don’t have to handle address generation, indexes nor watch the status of the incoming transactions.

Intro: Open Source Code on github

The module is open source and in the alpha test stage, so please try it, break it, improve it, or report any bugs you might find, so we can fix it.

AKITA

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AKITA

We make Distributed Ledger Technologies tangible

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