Consensus 2018 Hackathon — economically independent sensor networks built in a day!

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We had a chance to attend the NYC Blockchain Week— a series of events that took place all over New York City with the shared agenda of how we can use blockchain technology in our lives. We were attending Consensus 2018 by Coindesk and many other events, meetups and talks.

Consensus Hackathon

Our team took part in Consensus 2018 Hackathon. We chose to participate in the GrowNYC challenge which was the main challenge of the hackathon. The challenge was to use blockchain technologies to create a prototype, that gives trackability and transparency to the GrowNYC food supply chain — from farm, to warehouse, to retail outlet, to consumers.

Our goal was to show an example of an independent sensor network, that will act as a technical auditor of a production process. An independent sensor network can collect data about production processes such as air quality or chemicals usage or even radiation levels. The customer is ready to pay for the product, that was organically and sustainably manufactured. An independent sensor network increases the value of this produce, because it gives customers a clear understanding of the manufacturing process.

But there are a few questions that need to be answered before a sensor network can actually generate added value on production.

How is added value created? Clearly, you cannot just buy and implement sensors. As auditors are unbiased and verify organizations’ business processes, a sensor network should also be injected as unbiased participants to verify production processes. Doing that increases value as it improves trackability.

Which part of the supply chain cares the most about the quality? It is hard to measure. In different times and scenarios they can be different. We offer a technology, that allows any participant of the food supply chain (not only producer, but also final consumer, warehouses and retailer) to directly create a contract with the sensor network for data collection.

Who will own those sensor networks? We advocate the most futuristic idea — sensors act as independent economic agents, which own themselves. Hence, we need blockchain technology. Just think about it, we have money for robots (cryptocurrencies), contracts for robots (Ethereum smart contracts) and we can integrate them directly into human economy. The fact that we can use Ethereum blockchain to combine technical and economical parameters into one transaction allows us to create autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). Those sendors can not only work with clients directly, but also order their maintenance on the market by themselves.

We use Robonomics network to provide and economic autonomy for our sensor network. We connect air quality sensors and radiation sensors in our lab, which are capable of supplying immutable information. Check out our project on DevPost:

Economically Autonomous Robots

After the Hackathon, we attended the Consensus 2018 conference. It is one of the biggest blockchain events in the world with over 8,000 attendees.

We were attending the conference with our partners from Airalab and we were promoting our joint vision for economically autonomous robots. Drone Employee got a lot of interest as it is a good example of how Robonomics platform developed by Airalab can be used in real life by aerial robots — aerial drones.

Fortunately, we met a lot of potential partners and investors who can help Drone Employee promote the vision of fully autonomous drones and an autonomous aerial logistics network.

Inspection Services with Drones

Drone Employee recently finished first experiments, performing an environmental inspection service done fully by an autonomous drone. And we got an opportunity to share the results of this experiment during the blockchain week at RestartX conference.

Our partners from DAO IPCI are building a platform for green economy and environmental assets trading. Human economic activity is related to environmental damage and DAO IPCI uses economic tools to balance this damage (liability) with environmental mitigation outcomes.

As we learned in the first part, independent robots do not lie and can be used to collect data. In this case, drones are an important step towards a fully autonomous carbon credit market. Drones can be used to do inspection of production facilities, forest management, waste dump inspections and even fracturing control.

Successful Trip

I really enjoyed attending the blockchain week at NYC. Consensus was definitely a prime event of the week, but having a chance to meet so many likeminded people at events all over the city was eye-opening. I can see that blockchain technology is starting to get mainstream adoption and more and more start-ups and companies start using it.