Robonomics Network is an ambitious network infrastructure, based on the Ethereum platform and created with the purpose of integrating ‘cyber-physical systems’ into “Smart Cities and Industry 4.0”.
Industry 4.0 is a topic which I first discussed back in May 2018 when I reviewed a token called ‘Productivist’ that aimed to provide blockchain based solutions for the manufacturing sector. Key concepts of 4.0 common across all sectors are: automation, interoperability, AI, and IoT (how they can improve efficiency as well as reduce costs).
This project is no different, incorporating autonomous cyber-physical systems (or CPSs) to replace human operators and to a degree, decision-makers. According to the white paper, the team hopes to:
“Expand the capabilities of Ethereum in order for the market of CPSs behavioural models supply and demand to emerge; describing the Robonomics agents operating system as the interface of the Robot Operating System compatible CPS to the robots economy network”
A ‘CPS’, according to a page on the website of the US government backed National Science Foundation, integrates “sensing, computation, control and networking into physical objects and infrastructure”. Examples include self-driving cars and medical monitoring systems.
In the words of Cisco a smart city “collects and analyzes data from IoT sensors and video cameras. In essence, they “sense” the environment so that the city operator can decide how and when to take action… [and] uses digital technology to connect, protect, and enhance the lives of citizens. IoT sensors, video cameras, social media, and other inputs act as a nervous system”.
History, Present and Future
The company’s first release and phase of operation came in Q1 of 2018, with what the company calls ‘Lighthouse’ (AKA the first release of software for providers).