Why IOTA is a superior technology
There are currently a number of very promising projects that focus on IOTA and the Tangle. Many of these projects are combined in the Tangle Universe. I would like to introduce you to four of these projects in more detail.
The projects are:
- The M2M Prototype by Akita
- The Supply Chain Project WZL x GCX x IOTA of the RWTH-Aachen
- The ProductID-based solution for supply chain by thingsLab
- The lidbot smart waste bin
The IOTA M2M Prototype by Aktia
The applications, business models and new ways of interaction between human and machine and also machine-to-machine (M2M) could change in tremendous ways, but searching the web for any real experience in this field or actual products will leave you disappointed. So there is a need to build a tangible prototype:
1. One of the first steps would be to take a few machines like 2 industry robots and provide them with a dedicated machine wallet.
2. The robots would need energy to work and provide services (packing, laser cutting, 3D printing, transporting, etc.) So we also needed the energy provider or source to have dedicated wallets. This would allow each energy source to sell its energy directly M2M to any robot
3. Aktia integrate the government and also provide them with a machine wallet. This would enable automated, real time energy tax payment with each transaction done within the machine economy.
4. The infrastructure was chosen to be IOTA Tangle mainly due to the current main benefits over blockchain powered DLTs which are: To Use the main net for value and non-value transactions without any mining or transaction costs. In addition the DAG structure promises scalability which is absolutely necessary for the further real world adoption beyond Use Cases, PoCs and prototypes.
5. Last but not least, we as humans, we still want to see whats going on inside the machine economy and we would want to buy services. Therefore we will have regular human controlled wallets and a dashboard to control and overlook operations as well.
This is the current, modular scope of the M2M prototype project which is set with major milestones to continue in iterations until the end of 2020. During the project is highly likely that Akita is going to extend this prototype and involve different types of machines and see how they can interact with each other also on a larger scale.
Fineblanking with IOTA at the WZL in Aachen
Specifically, the WZL of RWTH Aachen University is currently working on the application of a fineblanking machine. In fineblanking, firstly the metal is decoiled from a sheet metal coil. Afterwards, the decoiled material is fed into a straightening system, where the sheet is flattened. A fineblanking press then processes the flattened material. Up to four parts a seconds are cut-out from the flattened material. Fineblanking is very suited for mass production of security-critical components, such as brake carriers. The goal is that all parts are identical. However, this is not the case, since uncertainties in the material, the process, or even the surrounding area result in different die-rolls and clean-cuts. However, since all parts have to be identical at the end, it requires expensive post-processing steps, which one ideally wants to avoid. Engineers have tried to describe these relationships in formulas of certain process parameters, but they contain constants that have to be determined experimentally. Therefore, the approach is to capture as much data as possible from the process and to combine physical-based and data-driven approaches for the first time in fineblanking.
The data is read directly from the machine, from additional self-attached force sensors, image and video feeds, material property sensor (a sheet is never uniform) or acoustics, vibration, temperature sensors. This leads to data rates of up to 10 Gbit / s (theoretical), of which the WZL wants to save as much data as possible in a first step.
A machine-to-machine communication will also enable Micro-Payments and Subscription Models in a Manufacturing Economy. Currently, Micro-Payment is performed manually and simulates a machine’s access to the digital twin. Access to only one digital twin will undoubtedly be possible with small amounts of money, but since fine-blanking is a mass production process, Subscription Models and As-A-Service models must be possible too. We are already working on As-A-Service model with our FEM-as-a-service extension, where the XFT 2500 can calculate a digital Finite Element Analysis (FEA) twin based on the actual measured machine data using a FEA server, which is paid / triggered via IOTA.
The vision then sees a self-governing, ‘autonomous’ machine, which controls itself as in “autonomous driving” and optimizes the process.
The WZL of RWTH Aachen have taken part in the innovation competition of the BMWi_Bund and are among the 35 winners.
A ProductID-based solution for supply chain tracking and ownership management by Things Lab
Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) and Identity of Things are the tools that can be implemented on the supply chain to make it more productive and transparent. By associating each product with an identifier, such as a crypto Smart Card, one can collect all the essential information regarding the product and then publish it on a distributed ledger (the IOTA Tangle in that case), so that in every step of the processit is possible to have direct access to the original data and its history. The information regarding the product’s location and status will be fetched in real time with guaranteed integrity.
By using a DLT protocol, the amount of time that it takes to track for example a food item back to its source would be reduced to seconds, as compared to days or even weeks.
Things Lab’s TrackingID uses cryptographic smart cards that can publish on the IOTA distributed ledger. Those smart cards are attached to products and batches that will be transported.
When the product is ready and out for transportation, the manufacturer will read the card using any NFC reader, including his smartphone, and will log in to its personalized manufacturer’s webpage. There, he can fill his specific form which displays whatever parameter he wants to add along with the product’s geographic location. The card will publish this information on the IOTA ledger and there it will be stored.
Each future step (transportation, wholesaler, inventory etc) will have a different form relevant to its own step when the card is read. The history of the product will keep being updated and can be accessed by all the authorized parts. When it arrives at the consumer, they can also use their own smartphone to access it.
This system can be used to track goods even in remote areas (oceans, for example) displaying also information regarding the shipment sensors. Food security can also be improved by having access to producers and transport data (where it was cultivated, the temperature and humidity during transport, etc). The pharmaceutical supply chain can be tracked so that only EMA approved drugs arrive at hospital and pharmacies guaranteeing also that none of the dangerous drugs escapes from the supply chain.
Lidbot. smart waste bin
lidbot. is an IOT sensor that measures the real-time fill level of waste and recycling bins. lidbot. alerts staff when the bins are full or recently emptied.
The lidbot.robin is a smart waste bin with built in lidbot. sensors and a RFID card scanner to manage your waste fleet/staff. The lidbot.robin comes solar ready or has a built in battery that lasts 5+ years.
IOTA and distributed ledger systems give lidbot an enviroment to do many great things. If we want to be able to pay someone for each time they change a waste bin, a distributed ledger like IOTA would be needed. This system, would enable a trust-less ecosystem where parties don’t have to trust each other in order to do business. The data stored on these distributed systems also become immutable, allowing for complete honesty and transparency in this environment.
lidbot. recently received the Startup Terrace Award for 2018 and has also be tried, tested and trusted by Taipei City Hall.
Four projects with a huge potential. We are glad that we could introduce you to you.
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