Publication Date

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Computer Engineering

Advisor

Gokay Saldamli

Keywords

blockchain, ethereum, iot, swarm robotics

Subject Areas

Computer engineering; Computer science; Robotics

Abstract

Current swarm robotics systems are not utilized as frequently in surveillance missions due to the limitations of the existing distributed systems' designs. The main limitation of swarm robotics is the absence of a framework for robots to be self-governing, secure, and scalable. As of today, a swarm of robots is not able to communicate and perform tasks in transparent and autonomous ways. Many believe blockchain is the imminent future of distributed autonomous systems. A blockchain is a system of computers that stores and distributes data among all participants. Every single participant is a validator and protector of the data in the blockchain system. The data cannot be modified since all participants are storing and watching the same records. In this thesis, we will focus on blockchain applications in swarm robotics using Ethereum smart contracts because blockchain can make a swarm globally connected and secure. A decentralized application (DApp) is used to deploy surveillance missions. After mission deployment, the swarm uses blockchain to communicate and make decisions on appropriate tasks within Ethereum private networks. We set a test swarm robotics system and evaluate the blockchain for its performance, scalability, recoverability, and responsiveness. We conclude that, although blockchain enables a swarm to be globally connected and secure, there are performance limitations that can become a critical issue.

Available for download on Tuesday, January 07, 2020

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