Blockchain and Emerging Distributed Ledger Technologies for Decentralized Multi-Robot Systems

Jorge Peña Queralta, Farhad Keramat, Salma Salimi, Lei Fu, Xianjia Yu and Tomi Westerlund

Purpose of review: Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), particularly blockchain, are paving the way to securing and managing distributed and large-scale systems of autonomous agents. We look into how these technologies are moving out of the lab and into the real world within the robotics field. Recent findings: Despite the scalability and real-world applicability concerns, new solutions have emerged that show resilience to intermittent connectivity, as well as scalable solutions for managed or permissioned networks. Summary: We present a review on the various use cases that different DLTs can support in multi-robot systems. We argue that the majority of the work to date on open and permissionless blockchains is only applicable to a subset of robotics use-cases, with novel DLT architectures and permissioned blockchains driving adoption across industrial and more mature application scenarios.