Walmart looks at blockchain managed robot army

Walmart looks at blockchain managed robot army

Walmart has applied for a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office detailing plans for a blockchain powered system of “in-field authenticating autonomous robots”.

Abstract as follows: “Methodologies, systems, and computer-readable media are provided for in-field authentication of autonomous electronic devices. A first mobile autonomous electronic device wirelessly communicates with a second mobile autonomous electronic device and receives a set of identification information associated with the second mobile autonomous electronic device.”

“The first electronic device autonomously travels to a specified location and transmits a first authentication signal to the second electronic device upon arrival at the specified location. The second electronic device confirms the identity of the first electronic device based on the first authentication signal and transmits a second authentication signal to the first electronic device. Once the first electronic device has confirmed that the identity of the second electronic device corresponds to an expected identity, the first electronic device transfers the object to the second electronic device.”

Whole lotta blockchain patents

Walmart is looking to blockchain to improve various parts of its business. In May, RTIH reported that the US retailer had filed a patent application outlining a blockchain-based marketplace for reselling purchased products.

To quote the document: “A registration-based user-interface architecture includes a retail shopping facility operated on behalf of an enterprise having a plurality of physically-discrete items disposed therein that are offered for retail sale. A control circuit maintains a record (for example, in a blockchain ledger) of a particular customer's purchase of a particular one of these items and also provides an opportunity to that particular customer to resell that particular item via a sales platform operated on behalf of the enterprise.”

Also in May, Walmart was circling blockchain powered autonomous ground vehicles (AVGs). Restricted access areas at a customer's home would receive packages from the AVGs. Blockchain technology could form part of a solution providing authentication-based access and encryption and the distributed network could also be used to track and authenticate goods.

A patent application stated: "When a customer interacts with a product, the customer is permitted to do so via a private or public authentication key. In response, new blocks may be added to subsequent root blocks, which will contain information relating to the date and time a product delivered by the AGV was accessed, as well as the authentication key that accessed the product."

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