Drones + Blockchain = Combining Two Exciting Technologies | Projects Around World
There is a growing list of use cases for blockchain for drone applications. In the early stages of the market for both blockchain and drone technologies, there are still only a limited number of projects, and in various stages of development. The projects span from using blockchain for the high trust identity of a drone asset in package delivery applications to a blockchain token system for compensating property owners for low-altitude drone flight over their property.
Here are examples of some of the projects around the world that look to meld the blockchain and drone technologies.
Drone Package Delivery
According to Chronicled website, they are powering, developing and supporting the evolution of an ecosystem to power the security of IoT products (e.g. drones) connected via the blockchain. In the above video they showcased in 2016 their prototype solution for safe, home package delivery via drone. The solution included cryptographic microchips that give delivery drones a unique identity on the blockchain, which IoT applications use to give (or deny) the drone trusted access to secure locations such as a home or warehouse. The drone’s encrypted chip communicates with a chip reader on an IoT-connected access point like a window or door. The chip reader verifies the chip’s cryptographic signature and checks its identity on the blockchain. Once permission is confirmed, the window/door opens, and delivery can be completed. The wallet associated with the household can pay the drone just-in-time upon delivery–like paying for a pizza but automated.
Image and Source: Chronicled
Dorado says they are “the “Uber” on blockchain for all last-mile deliveries.” The Dorado Platform is based on the food delivery platform of Foodoutgroup.com. Dorado’s plan is to go beyond food delivery to deliver anything the customer wants and transform the way goods move around cities by enabling anyone to have anything delivered on-demand. Their HyperLocal Logistics platform on blockchain connects customers with local network of human couriers, drones, robots who can deliver anything from any store or restaurant in minutes.
Dorado is looking to utilize drones in order to target delivering goods in 15 minutes or less. In the words of Co-Founder and COO Evgeny Tikhomirov: “Drones are not just quicker, but 2x-6x cheaper than current human couriers. Drones are just the first step in a plan that includes robotics, AI and various other cutting edge technologies. What we have planned will change the landscape of the on-demand delivery industry forever.”
AERO Token: Chain of Connectivity
Drone Flight Right-of-Way Grants
According to their website, AERO Token is an enabler of the drone “superhighway” through their Ethereum-based blockchain technology that will enable property owners to grant temporary Right-of-Way avigation easements to authorized drone service providers in exchange for income.
The AERO Token (Avigation Easements Rights and Ownership) (“AERO”) is a proposed Ethereum-based distributed ledger system dedicated to the granting and utilization of avigation easements (i.e. airspace Right-of-Way access) and navigation of commercial drones. AERO provides a missing technological and legal mechanism necessary to enable and easily facilitate the consent of property owners for low-altitude drone flight over private property.
Source: AERO Token
Image: US Patent & Trade Office
Package Tracking System
In 2017 retail giant Walmart looks to have applied for a patent for a system that uses blockchain technology to track packages delivered by unmanned drones.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published the application, innocuously titled “Unmanned Aerial Delivery to Secure Location.”
Distributed Drone Registry
According to the Applied Blockchain website, they were commissioned by SITA to develop the world’s first distributed drone registry. The project involved flight path data captured by a drone during a flight to be uploaded onto the same shared ledger and represented visually on an interactive map. As the data is attached to a registered drone, aviation authorities can plot the flights of a specific drone, all drones of a given operator, or even all drones from a specific manufacturer, all on a single map and in real time. This access to data is a paradigm shift from legacy based systems, which inherently rely upon a single trusted party to maintain the data and provide the correct level of access to users.
From MOTA’s website, their drone blockchain initiative combines the ever-expanding power of drones and robots with blockchain data intelligence. Their blockchain-backed database includes operator, time, location, handlers, and flight information in a tamper-resistant format. Through a decentralized expanding map that utilizes a peer-to-peer network “safe fly zone” and “crash data” are possible.
Dispatch and Control Network
The Auto-Pilot project seeks to combine drone technology with a dispatch and air traffic control network based on the TIM blockchain. For example, Auto-Pilot works on TIM blockchain which provides a secure geo-location and authenticity of communication channels. And when in non-operative mode, Auto-Pilot drones act as PoB authenticators for TIM which earns them mining fees.
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