Robotic systems are starting to revolutionize many applications, from transportation to health care assisted by technological advancements, such as cloud computing, novel hardware design, and novel manufacturing techniques. However, several of the characteristics that make robots ideal for certain future applications — autonomy, learning, knowledge sharing, etc. — can also raise concerns in the evolution of the technology from academic institutions to the public sphere. For instance, controlling the behavior of large teams of robots still presents unique challenges for human operators. In addition, important issues in the fields of data privacy, security and transparency can become burdens for the future use of this technology in high-sensitive scenarios. Therefore, solutions to these issues might be necessary steps towards mainstream adoption.
Blockchain, an emerging technology originated in the digital currency field, demonstrates that by combining peer-to-peer networks with cryptographic algorithms, agents can reach agreements in a transparent manner without the need for a controlling authority. For instance, blockchain-based tools such as “smart contracts” are already showing great potential to make robotic operations more secure, autonomous, flexible and even profitable. Therefore, bridging the gap between purely scientific domains and real-world applications
This symposium seeks to move beyond the classical view of robotic systems to advance our understanding about the possibilities and limitations of combining robots with blockchain technology. Insights about the following questions are especially important: What blockchain tools are available to increase the reliability and transparency of robotic systems? What kind of algorithms are suitable to combine both technologies? Are there new models and methods to connect robots to blockchain-based technology such as “smart contracts”? Are distributed networks such as Bitcoin a feasible way to integrate robotic systems in our society? Are there new business models for robot ventures based on cryptographic algorithms?
Below is a list of possible topics that would fit this symposium:
In addition to this brief list of possible topics, we welcome submissions on other topics addressing robotic systems in the society. We seek manuscripts with conceptual and theoretical contributions as well as papers documenting valuable results of experiments conducted with real-robots. We welcome research reviews that provide a comprehensive view of any of the fields mentioned previously. For more information visit the symposium website.