Polytechnic University of Madrid
Using blockchain technology to protect robots
The use of blockchain technology as a communication tool for a team of robots could provide security and safeguard against deception, according to a study by researchers at MIT and Polytechnic University of Madrid. The research may also have applications in cities where multi-robot systems of self-driving cars are delivering goods and moving people across town.
A blockchain offers a tamper-proof record of all transactions — in this case, the messages issued by robot team leaders — so follower robots can eventually identify inconsistencies in the information trail. Leaders use tokens to signal movements and add transactions to the chain, and forfeit their tokens when they are caught in a lie, so this transaction-based communications system limits the number of lies a hacked robot could spread, according to Eduardo Castelló, a Marie Curie Fellow in the MIT Media Lab and lead author of the paper.