Robonomics: how to build a smart sustainable city on blockchain

Sep 7, 2018 · 6 min read

Sci-fi fantasies becoming reality: leading Russian developers tested their achievements in sensor networks, mobile robotics and Industry 4.0, united and governed by a decentralised network

On the last weekend of summer leading Russian blockchain developers created a model of a “smart sustainable city” with autonomous p2p mesh network on Volga river. Fully working and real models of autonomous drones presented a real showcase of technologies, ready to be implemented in smart cities worldwide with support of Evercity.

The participants created 377 smart contracts, 1232 transactions and 60217 blocks in Ethereum network.

Mesh network is a distributed cellular network, where every node-participant is equal. This technology marks a new stage in the development of wireless networks, making participants of the network independent from centralised providers.

In the course of the four-day workshop, engineers connected mesh-topology, cjdns, IPFS, IPFS pubsub, Ethereum protocol and “Robonomics” platform in a single decentralized network, aimed at maintenance of cyber-physical systems of smart cities.

Participants deploying autonomous p2p mesh network

Cyber-physical systems are created for consolidation and ceaseless governance of physical processes of production and other systems that function as an integral part of “smart cities” (energy, water supply, intellectual transport systems) in real time. These systems are a fundamental part of digital economy.

Attempts to integrate cities and even whole economics into a unified cyber-physical system have been made since the second half of XX century. Soviet academician Victor Glushkov achieved the greatest progress in the field back in 70s, but today China took up the lead with construction of its cyber communism.

Legendary Soviet developer Victor Glushkov

Currently, Airalab are the leading developers in Russia, following the heritage and traditions of the Soviet engineering genius.

Sergey Lonshakov, Airalab founder and mastermind

The results of the engineering intensive course were presented during the two-day public program, where local officials, journalists and managers tested autonomous sensor systems for collection of data on water conditions, forest monitoring and an autonomous 3D printer.

A set of round tables also took place to discuss the implementation of blockchain technology in production and logistics monitoring, issues of environment protection and digital security.

Air drones

Airalab fire patrol drone test flight (video)

Air drones, equipped with a set of sensors, act as an automatic system for dynamic monitoring. Having received information about area to be monitored, a drone secures a smart contract with decentralised Ethereum-platform Robonomics and plans its route. After the mission, the drone automatically transmits a hash file in interplanetary file system (IPFS) network, containing all requested data

They can be applied:

The technology was successfully tested in April 2018 for air measurements in Saint Petersburg (Russia).

Airalab report on air monitoring case study (PDF)

A pilot project on the city level will be implemented in Togliatti to automate fire-control monitoring. During Robonomics summer school, the developers reached a mutual agreement with local authorities. This autumn, the city administration will provide Airalab team with all statistics on ignition centers in forests, which will become the starting point to plan the first tests.

Togliatti is the city built in late XX century by engineers to become home to Russian automobile giant AvtoVAZ.

Today such monitoring is usually carried out by humans. This system is characterised by high maintenance costs and low efficiency in detecting emergency situations.

For example, for solar PV owners drones can cut down the time of inspection from multiple days to a few hours, reduce the maintenance cost and water consumption for smaller environmental impact.

Air drones already provide a smarter and more cost-efficient technology. They enable local authorities to create an efficient instrument for reduction and prevention of fire damage and unauthorised dumps. Drones are able to perform methane emissions monitoring and evaluate progress or deterioration in air quality, thus contributing to the accomplishment of Paris Agreement goals.

Aquatic drones

Water drone in action. Final tests (video)

The main purpose of aquatic drone, tested during the summer school, is to collect and transmit information on the water condition in rivers and small reservoirs.

The drone is equipped with sensors that measure the concentration of nitrogen-containing agents, oxygen, turbidity and water temperature.

The case study conducted during Robonomics 2018 has shown critical level of oxygen in Volga river, potentially dangerous for environment. Such information is extremely valuable for decision-making on the government level, including implementation of particular solutions as a part of the Russian state project “Environment”.

Engineer-ecologist of the aquatic drone project Aziza Oripova presented results of the water measurements in Volga river

Today aquatic drones provide solution for a key task of water pollution monitoring in Volga, Baikal, Ganges and other strategic water bodies around the globe. The technology can ensure significant budget economy alongside with accuracy of monitoring and security of critical data related to the state of water resources, including identification of pollutants.

3D printer factory

Functioning model of autonomous factory in Airalab office

Industry 4.0 in action. Real-life responsive automated manufacturing (video)

3D printer also connects to a decentralised Robonomics network. It is an autonomous agent that prints particular models according to a smart contract concluded with a client and then automatically delivers the order.

The printer, tested during Robonomics-2018, is a part of continuous effort of developers to design an autonomous production and logistics network under the Industry 4.0 concept. In perspective, this system can be upgraded to a whole new level of autonomy which will not require human participation. Currently 3D printer in decentralised network can print primitive schemes, transistors, LEDs and prostheses.

This technology enables the creation of automated decentralised production/logistics complex and provides the key to bring Industry 4.0 concept to life.


The smart city built during Robonomics-2018 is a truly unique, one-of-a-kind case that showed how blockchain-based technologies can be used in real world to implement such important tasks as environment monitoring and production. These technologies facilitate UN’s Sustainable Development Goals regarding sustainable development and help save local governments budgets. Not in the distant future, but right now.

Building bridges with Asia: in July Evercity CEO Alexey Shadrin took part in Global Silk Forum in Astana with a presentation on blockchain implementation in smart sustainable cities.

Evercity is an active member of United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) initiative, which allows us to present this experience on the international level and introduce our suggestions on the creation of smart sustainable cities all over the world.

This project is also important for the “private monitoring” concept, which enables individuals to create their own smart sensor networks, to join a blockchain network and to sell the received data with the help of the IoT protocol to interested parties. This concept also opens access to new business opportunities and new markets.

Robonomics experience is an big milestone on the way to the creation of a unified platform (сyber-physical system) that will finally make the ideas of XX century engineers and philosophers come true. Russian developers have an unprecedented potential to integrate all elements of Industry 4.0 and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) into smart sustainable cities of the world.

Other publications by Evercity:

Article by: Masha Vyazemskaya, Alexey Shadrin

Evercity Blog

Smart city accelerator and venture crypto fund


Written by


Evercity Blog

Smart city accelerator and venture crypto fund

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