Blockchain-based startup Chronicled recently revealed a drone prototype with interoperability between the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain. The firm released a video of a drone that is registered to a public blockchain with a BLE identity chip, allowing it to self-automate package delivery.
Blockchain, Drones, and the Internet of Things
Chronicled is a San Francisco-based company founded in 2014 by Ryan Orr, Sam Radocchia, Maurizio Greco, and Dave Aho. It focuses on designing a blockchain-based registry for IoT. Currently, Chronicled is developing “turn-key solutions” that enables physical property to link securely to a blockchain.
The drone prototype device has a blockchain-registered BLE identity chip tethered to the Ethereum blockchain. This allows the drone to “self-authenticate with a computer-controlled window and gain access to a private residence in order to deliver a package,” said Chronicled. The computer verifies the drone’s authenticity. Then the verifying platform asks the device to cryptographically sign a random number, which is matched to the drone’s previously registered public key on the blockchain.
Pharmacy Wallmeds connected the drone in the video to the Ethereum blockchain. The homeowner gave Wallmeds whitelist permission and in turn, left a door open for the drone to deliver the package securely.
Not only that, but Chronicle’s blockchain protocol enables any registered physical object to authenticate on the Ethereum blockchain. Chronicled engineer Maksym Petkus said the drone video is one of the first experiments of its kind.
“As far as we know, this is the first use of blockchain technology in interaction with a dynamic physical object and access control in real-time. In a future version, we can assign the drone a digital wallet, so that it can send and receive micropayments. For example, the drone could make a payment for accessing a landing pad equipped with a battery recharging station.”
Blockchain Automation Freeing Up Costs and Friction
At the moment, Chronicled focuses most of its attention on the blockchain-authentication process for luxury products. However, the drone demo experiment exists because the company has its eye on leveraging its technology on future applications. According to CTO Maurizio Greco, the drone testing was part of a “hack week” in which some Chronicled engineers participated.
Chronicled says blockchain technology is key to creating a cheaper and more efficient delivery system. The startup says, “28% of the total delivery cost to a business comes from the last-mile — a frictionless delivery experience helps streamline efficiency and cut costs — especially with regards to same-day/on-demand delivery, technology is the key.” In essence due to the platform’s decentralized nature any individual can register a drone tethered to the distributed ledger protocol.
Chronicled Firmware Focuses on the Path Towards a Connected and Autonomous World
The firm believes its demonstration is an introduction to a futuristic world, filled with autonomous vehicles. It will make the identity chip running Chronicled’s custom firmware available to anyone interested in securing physical property digitally. The startup says they have created the first “interoperable, cryptographically secure Internet of Things Protocol ecosystem.”
“Until now our relationship with the Things we own has been somewhat reminiscent of a parent and infant,” says Chronicled Engineer Allen Sogis-Hernandez, “The Things are cute, we adore them, but they lack an identity, and they are helpless. The IoT Protocol can change this, allowing Things to gain a life of their own, with a secure identity, wallet, and reputation, all precursors to Things being able to self-authenticate, cooperate, and transact without human assistance.”
This world of automation, AI-based verification, and the Internet of Things is coming. On this technological landscape, blockchain is showing its importance. Chronicled is very pleased with the experiment and believes distributed ledger tech is a “key factor in enabling a new interoperable IoT economy to emerge.” The firm is well on its way with this mission and has raised $4.83 million so far to produce results.
What do you think about Chronicled’s blockchain-based drone experiment? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Chronicled.
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