[SeekingFeedback] Industry 4.0 Connectivity

Creation of an intermediary device to communicate with industrial devices, like PLC’s and robot arms. There are millions of integrated machines in the world in factories and production facilities. This solution will pull the device data and put it into the blockchain. This could revolutionize supply chain by pulling data directly from devices and put into blockchain. It is also the next logical progression in IOT, often called IIOT.

A large challenge with connecting these millions of devices, is the interoperability of the various data protocols. Industrial networks are full of devices that cannot talk easily to high-level systems, this project fixes that by providing the necessary connector.

Project Name

IOTEX and Industrial Data Connectivity

Project Type

Integrate IoTeX, YouTube Video, Dev Tutorial Article

Proposal Description

This project will fill the need of industrial suppliers and industry 4.0 technologies to tie their data into the blockchain. The proposed solution will provide a gateway for industrial data that lives in devices like PLC’s and industrial robot arms, and put this data into the IOTEX blockchain.

This will provide engineering at these production plants the ability to integrate blockchain solutions, without the need to spend a lot of time developing the blockchain itself. Using a public blockchain like this, alongside the proposed connector, means that the cost to bring a blockchain solution is low - from the device all the way to the blockchain.

The proposed device will live either at the network level (tied to many devices) or at the device level, one per machine (or small cluster of machines). It will likely be at the device level to reduce latency.

IOT data is everywhere, but there is a large amount of industrial data that could be captured, potentially causing a large amount of traffic through the IOTEX network. As factories start to integrate their blockchain data into the supply chain, data from the automated machinery / robot arms will be very important as it gives you the best resolution and insight. This also becomes very important during quality assurance tests performed by these machines.

The final deliverable will include a programmed device that can communicate with an Allen Bradley PLC, and Opto22 RIO PLC, and a Fanuc robot arm. This is a good example as these devices represent a large portion of the automated machinery available. The deliverable also includes a summary report and a video reviewing the system and how it could be easily integrated in industry. This video will be very important for other engineers who want to integrate this technology into their systems.

The system will use a ruggedized Raspberry Pi, which proves the operability in a linux environment. This proves that it could be integrated into a standard industrial IPC (industrial PC) to run the same code. This is for future developments, by likely the system would be installed using an industrial mounted device.

Milestones

  • Milestone 1:
    • Duration (weeks): 1 week
    • Deliverables: Programming of device to communicate with IOTEX Blockchain
    • Funds request (USD): 500 USD
  • Milestone 2:
    • Duration (weeks): 2 weeks
    • Program of Allen Bradley and Opto22 PLC and have it communicate with blockchain through device. Prove system working with physical inputs.
    • Fund request (USD): 3,500 USD
  • Milestone 3:
  • Duration (weeks): 2 weeks
  • Program Fanuc robot to communicate with device and IOTEX blockchain. Proves system practically works
  • Fund request (USD): 3,500 USD
    *Milestone 4:
  • Completion of report of findings for use case and video for content
  • Duration 2 days
  • Fund request (USD) 500 USD

Total funds requested

8000 USD

About your Team

Ascenddatatech.com is a small team of industrial automation / robotics / blockchain engineers who are passionate about blockchain and its possibilities.
www.linkedin.com/in/nathan-field-cet-eit-64337787

Metrics

Links

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1 Like

Hi @nathan.field, thank you for submitting this proposal, we like it a lot!

I just tagged it as “seeking for community feedback” and it would be great to let your and our communities to know about your project! If you have an official twitter account, can you post this proposal and share here the link? Alternatively, I see you have a website with some nice content regarding blockchain and IoT, what about posting a blog about your idea/proposal? Feel free to share your posts in the comments below!

3 Likes

I’m also curious about your proposal as well, and I would like to understand better what are the actual expected functions that it will implement. I think the deliverables of the milestones should be more specific

Milestone 1: this looks like the actual configuration of a raspberry pi with IoTeX clients/libraries and/or a full node. You can use “Programming of device to communicate with IOTEX Blockchain” as the title of the bilestone, but you should put what exactly will be done in the Deliverables such that the community can verify what actually has been built when the milestone is achieved. You can also add a description if you want. Here is an example:

Milestone 1: Programming of device to communicate with IOTEX Blockchain
Description: Build a raspberrypi blockchain gateway that runs a IoTeX full node and a javascript service that accepts TCP requests from industrial devices and forwards them to the blockchain
Deliverables: The gateway will accept and forward IOTX token transfer requests, we provide a github repo with source code and a readme that explains step by step how to configure the raspberry pi

etc…

Please feel free to contact me on Telegram/Discord andI’ll be happy to schedule a call to guide you!

7 Likes

PLC integration looks like a good first step for industry 4.0 adoption
I would like you to give more detail into how this would actually work technically:

Milestone 1 could be achieved using the library at GitHub - iotexproject/arduino-sdk or any other IoTeX client library. @zimne should be able to advice on this.
For Milestones 2 and 3, I am assuming the PLCs will communicate with the blockchain through the Raspberry Pi (which acts like a gateway). In that case, you could describe how the PLCs will communicate with the Rpi

1 Like

I and Nathan had a good talk on phone a few weeks ago about this project: considering that the IoTeX “W3bstream” IoT (layer 2) network is being built (and already on testnet), I suggested Nathan to implement this project in such a way that his gateway would act as the gateway to W3bstream for any industrial device, rather than a gateway to the blockchain itself. A Raspberry Pi + a secure element could make a nice W3bstream gateway converting PLCs data into verifiable data. Something like this:

That could be expanded with the most popular industrial protocols on the left side (profibus, canbus,…), and be as generic as possible such that these devices could send their data according to some format to the gateway, then the gateway would “pack” them into the W3bstream verifiable message format.

The gateway would have its own DID on IoTeX as well, while it should be in charge of “registering” (i.e. keeping track) of the local devices locally connected to it (possibly, each one of them should have its own DID).


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2 Likes

Thanks for clarifying.
That looks like a nice and modular approach

1 Like

@nathan.field - pls help to make this proposal more concrete. We like this idea!