Towards Managing Industrial Robot Fleets with Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain and ROS 2
Salma Salimi, Jorge Peña Queralta, Tomi Westerlund
Trust is increasingly becoming a key consideration in the design of autonomous robotic systems. In industrial applications, security and trust in the system are requirements for widespread adoption. Blockchain technologies have emerged as a potential solution to address identity management and secure data aggregation and control. However, the vast majority of works to date utilize Ethereum and smart contracts that are not scalable or well suited for industrial applications. This paper presents what is, to the best of our knowledge, the first integration of ROS 2 with the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. With a framework that leverages Fabric smart contracts and ROS 2 through a Go application, we delve into the potential of using blockchain for controlling robots, and gathering and processing their data. We demonstrate the applicability of the proposed framework to an inventory management use-case where different robots are used to detect objects of interest in a given area. Designed to meet the requirements of distributed robotic systems, we show that the performance of the robots is not impacted significantly by the blockchain layer. At the same time, we provide examples for developing other applications that integrate Fabric smart contracts with ROS 2. Our results pave the way for further adoption of blockchain technologies in autonomous robotic systems for building trustable data sharing.