In swarm robotics, a group of homogeneous or heterogeneous robots are connected to one another and form a swarm. Individual robots can communicate with one another and respond to their surroundings on their own since they have processing, communication, and sensing capabilities locally on-board.
As the cost of robotics platforms falls, so does the number of applications involving swarm robotics. Precision farming, targeted material transportation, and entertainment systems are examples of these applications. The main impediment to deploying these robots on a large scale for commercial applications is that they must be secured. According to experts, including a swarm member with malicious intents or who is faulty can pose a security risk as well as a risk to achieving a single goal.
Swarm robotics security is fundamentally comprised of data integrity, data confidentiality, data origin authentication, and entity authentication. Because of the complex characteristics of swarm robotics, such as decentralized control, robot autonomy, and collective behavior, the security topic was overlooked. However, blockchain technology may be a solution to the swarm robotics security problem because it not only provides a reliable and private network of communication for swarm agents, but it also has ways to overcome vulnerabilities, potential threats, and attacks.
The use of encrypted techniques such as digital signature cryptography and public key cryptography in blockchain technology is not only recognized as a means to prove the identity of a specific agent in a network but also for making transactions that use unsafe and shared channels. To enable such transactions, each agent is given a pair of private, public, and corresponding keys.
Public keys are publicly available in the blockchain network and are the most important available information for an agent. These keys serve as the agent’s unique account number. Private keys, on the other hand, are treated as covert information by agents, much like passwords in a traditional system. The private keys are only used to validate an agent’s identity and the operations that it may perform..
Under swarm robotics, public keys can be shared between robots that want to communicate using public key cryptography. As a result, in the network, any robot can send information to a specific robot, and only a robot with a matching private key can read the message. As a result, even if it falls into the wrong hands, there is no risk because the message cannot be decrypted using a public key. Furthermore, it eliminates the risk of information decryption by third-party robots, even if they share the same communication channel.
On the one hand, public key cryptography ensures that the content of a message encapsulated in a blockchain-based transaction can be read only by the robot who owns a specific address. Digital signature cryptography, on the other hand, ensures data origin authentication and entity authentication between different robots.
Thus, the use of blockchain technology will allow robots to operate in a variety of changing environments. This will be possible when various blockchain ledgers with different parameters are in sync with one another and without modifying their basic control algorithms.
In a nutshell, the power of blockchain technology can increase robot flexibility while decreasing complexity in swarm robotics. Since swarm robotics is increasingly being integrated into various fields across industries, this technology provides an innovative infrastructure to ensure that it complies with safety as well as legal regulations.