Hi IoDLT team, good to read the progress updates and great to see your role in being an evangelist for NEM Catapult!
I really like the drone delivery article specifically, a strong and relevant use case.
Hi IoDLT team, good to read the progress updates and great to see your role in being an evangelist for NEM Catapult!
I really like the drone delivery article specifically, a strong and relevant use case.
Awesome job and big congrats to the IoDLT team!
Hello NEM Community! Bader from IoDLT here, although its a few days into December, we still wanted to give an update on what we’ve been up to.
Since the last update, we’ve been deep in the development of our products, and are still actively developing our technology. This development will be (and is) going strong this December:
A lot has been done on the IoT node side. We currently have a Linux distro that contains all dependencies of Catapult preinstalled. All nodes are running the Catapult release candidate (F2) with no issues.
A Catapult testing utility is being developed. It will be opensourced for the benefit of the community once its finished.
We’ve put together some useful install scripts to automatically download Catapult and its dependencies. This was opensourced.
We’ve setup several Ansible playbooks (Ansible is a server automation software) that completely configures, starts, and manages multiple Catapult nodes. This can be made into a GUI in the future as well. This enables us to control IoT nodes en masse quite easily with just a line in the terminal.
We would like to introduce the first iteration of our portable IoT node. This node is able to be both wall and battery powered, connect wirelessly, and carried in the palm of your hand. It also features a high performance, desktop grade SSD that stores the chain’s state. Testing on this node specifically will occur within the next couple of months. Our plan is to be able to integrate this into a seamless plug-in-play solution for any business. There is currently a slight bug with the power switch from battery to wall power mode where the node will restart, but we are currently coming up with a solution to rectify this issue. (Please note, all measurements shown in the pictures are in INCHES).
In the coming months, we will focus on making sure that the core Axon technology is ready for market. Also, we will be fixing our IoT node’s hardware bugs. As our technology matures and passes testing, we look forward to demonstrating it to our clients.
We welcome any questions you may have.
Thank you very much for your time, and as always, we are very grateful for the support that NEM Ventures and the NEM Community has provided us.
You’re working on some really great contributions to the NEM ecosystem. Keep it up!
Hello NEM Community!
Here is our update for December. As we were last month, we are in the development phase and beginning to think about our plan to market for 2020. We also worked on refactoring some of our technology to be more scalable and receptive to new changes.
In the last couple of weeks, we have been focusing on getting our own version of a public, Catapult testnet hosted. We believe that this serves as a dual purposed initiative:
Allow us to think about larger scale, custom blockchain networks.
Put the application of a higher traffic network into practice, which also serves as a portfolio piece for clients.
This deployment also includes wallet, faucet, and explorer builds. We are happy to report that the testnet is live, with already some of the community hosting nodes and interacting with it. The repo for the setup can be found here. We plan on opensourcing more useful tools (such as a GUI setup wizard) for Catapult deployment.
We have invested a lot of time doing this and understanding the ins-and-outs of scalable Catapult deployment. We believe this can be a major selling point for our company, especially with having something out in production.
Block Explorer: http://devnet.iodlt.com/
Axon currently has the following features in the testing phase: ownership, commands, identity, and encrypted communications. As always, all of these features use Catapult. These features are integral to Axon’s core functionality. Axon’s physical appearance has not changed since the last month’s update. These features will mark Axon in an “Alpha” stage. We will work on a better physical look once the software is stable and working.
Axon now has a solid, working Arduino SDK, which allows for very easy and versatile programming of IoT applications with Catapult at a microcontroller level. In the program below (in the screenshot), for example, Axon is programmed to send data every time the Arduino loops, as well simultaneously watch for new incoming data (a command to turn on an LED) on pin 13. This can easily be used in a custom function to send custom data periodically upon a certain condition, which is entirely up to the programmer. This information comes to and from Catapult. There is also a very handy debug mode that outputs useful log and error messages, which is typically not found in lower level SDKs. A simple notification system lets the developer know Axon’s latest status, and also logs messages for debugging. The SDK is quite light on the Arduino’s limited resources as well.
The provisioning of our own testnet as greatly helped in gathering insight into the optimal configuration for our IoT Nodes, and will help in testing different configurations.
After extensive testing, we have found a solution to combat the portable IoT Node’s power bug. We are currently designing a board to further solve the power issue. It is essentially a board that plugs on to the node’s GPIO to offset any peaks and valleys in the power that batteries generate, allowing for smooth transitions from wall power to battery power. We are also exploring further energy features, such as solar powered nodes to charge the battery.
We are still in contact with several promising opportunities, and are pursuing them.
We are set to release another demonstrative article soon, “Best of the Future Meets Best of PAST: Using NEM’s Catapult & IoDLT’s AXON to create a Gold-Backed cryptocurrency”. In it, we detail the concept of using XRF authentication machine that verifies precious metals items against the blockchain. Building on this concept, we also introduce the idea of a gold “vending” and authentication machine that exchanges gold for crypto and crypto for gold. IoT (XRF and other sensor technology) and Catapult are used along the way to verify all aspects of every transaction and ensure legitimacy. It also illustrates the concept of how the “old” economy can meet and benefit from the “new” economy.
Our drone article was translated into Japanese.
Our most recent article, “The Future Of Data – Swarm Learning, The Catapult Blockchain and Edge Computing”, is pending publication on IoT For All.
As always, we are very grateful for the support and consulting from Ventures and the community.
Happy New Year!
It’s a very cool project you guys got going there.
Wondering about tone thing though…how are you going to store all this data on chain? Let’s say Amazon puts an Axon on all their drones and they store all those ToF-Data on-chain. That’d become unviable in like a month or two right? Huge fleets like that would store vast amounts of data in relatively little time (especially when it’s regulatory data) and if there is one thing, that blockchains are horrible at, it’s storing large amounts of data. They become bloated and running full nodes becomes a larger and larger burden. Does Catapult have some sort of pruning mechanism that I’m not aware of?
Thanks, some great progress there. From an advocacy perspective, are there any industry associations (global/local) worth pursuing from an IoT standpoint? It would be good to see some of the articles and work done being featured to the wider industry too.
Thanks, we’re working pretty hard
In the case of Axon, our goal with it is to send only data that is relevant to a specific event. I agree that blockchains should not be used for “big data” (there are other solutions for that!), not every ToF datapoint should be stored on-chain.
The blockchain application here is used for multi-party settlements and record keeping for major/significant drone events. For example, when a delivery is fulfilled, the ToF data relating to just the delivery, when it occurs, might be stored on-chain as part of the Aggregate Bonded contract. The data actually stored on-chain would be very limited, and “to the point”, not continuous streams of actual raw sensor data. Only ToF data that is relevant to the transaction and provides useful context should be included.
In other words: only strategic, relevant data points that are used to help verify an on-chain contract are stored on-chain as part of the deal. And obviously, nodes to handle this traffic would have to be higher spec to deal with more transactions coming in at a time from multiple Axon-enabled drones.
No, Catapult does not really have a pruning mechanism for this sort of thing.
Thanks for the question!
Thank you Jason!
Yes, so far the medical industry (locally and globally) has stood out for the use of IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) in hospital and clinical operations. Combined with blockchain, it can be quite a useful and cost-effective solution to manage and protect patient data. A detailed article on this is definitely due at some point
Locally, there are some interesting IoT agricultural and logistics applications as well.
It will be a good idea to incorporate the broader industries into our articles. Thanks for the feedback.
In the case of Amazon, that probably still wouldn’t be maintainable long-term
Looking forward to seeing what’ll come of it though. Keep it up!
Hello NEM / Symbol Community! We are glad to announce yet another IoDLT use case article! In this article, we touch on using Catapult & Axon IoT to authenticate assets that utilize precious metals, such as coins or jewelry. Using a combination of different IoT sensors, as well as Catapult’s built-in mechanisms, everything from metal content verification to ownership can be controlled with the blockchain. It also illustrates how the future of money can meet the past with a conceptual Crypto For Gold dispensary. Give it a read below, we hope you enjoy!
Hi NEM Community!
We are pleased to present our January update. The first month of 2020 has been quite eventful for us, with more potential partnerships, clients, and favorable progression in our product development.
We have open-sourced an experimental GUI for connecting to our (and other) networks: https://github.com/IoDLT/catapult-devnet-gui. Please note that it may be unstable.
Axon’s development is on schedule, has progressed to the point where we can start building actual PoC applications with it, which will greatly help with marketing our solutions further. This PoC demonstrates a flame and temperature gauge that logs to the blockchain. Such modules are used in the likes of aircrafts and hydrogen stations to detect internal sparks, fires, or rising temperatures.
Axon flame and temperature detector, with a power-on LED. When a flame, spark, or other sudden light source is detected, Axon logs the temperature and that a flame was detected on-chain.
Internals of this specific Axon unit. Due to it not being a finalized unit, the cables are able to be unplugged, rearranged, and rewired.
The real life application of such PoCs will naturally improve Axon’s core protocols over time.
Axon now has a simple state management system that keeps track of the last node used, the last owner key used on-device, and and the network generation hash.
A quick, high-level view of Axon’s design as of this time: Axon took some design decisions from Symbol’s core in that it uses multiple, independent, and interchangeable parts both in hardware software. At its core, Axon uses the Raspberry Pi Zero W, which allows for basic machine learning, 1080p camera support, and more. Axon also has a programmable microcontroller, which at this time is a Teensy 3.6 MCU. However, we could change these parts to better suit (and be optimized for) a specific application. The Raspberry Pi and Teensy follow a simple handshake protocol (based on UART serial) that we developed to reliably send information to and from each other (i.e, a new node endpoint).
Axon sends our ‘Records’ to the blockchain. These records can be ‘Simple Records’ (uses TransferTransactions for now, will probably change to another transaction scheme), or ‘Multi Records’ (AggregateTransactions). Records can be encrypted if needed. Multi Records still need a bit of work, as we would like them to include options for more complex ‘smart contract’ logic eventually. Here is an example of how a simple, unencrypted Record looks like (logged by the Axon PoC above).
Axon can receive ‘Commands’ from the authorized user, declared in the MCU script. Commands essentially specify that a specific action should be taken on a particular pin on the microcontroller.
Due to its modularity, Axon can take many physical forms, including an all-in-one unit, or as a ‘blown-up’ unit (in separate pieces). This makes it suited to many different applications, and it has the freedom to be adapted to specific applications more easily. Axon can also use more specialized microcontrollers, as long as they contain a UART serial interface.
The IoT Node is working, with only small power related tweaks needed to be worked out. We’ve also seen some other potential: More powerful configurations for the IoT nodes with the same form factor.
We developed a demo / PoC provenance app, which uses NFC to register and look up tagged collectibles on Symbol. We developed our own mechanism using Symbol’s metadata features, and it can be used to assign identity to an account. These features are also to be used with Axon to register its identity on the blockchain. Keep in mind that it is very much WIP.
Asset authentication and provenance app that uses an ownership and identity mechanism based on Symbol’s Account Metadata feature.
We posted our new article “Best of the Future Meets Best of the PAST: Using Symbol Blockchain & Axon IoT To Authenticate Precious Metal Coins, Bullion, and Jewelry” This article demonstrates the power of Symbol and Axon in authenticating and provenancing valuable physical assets and collectibles, such as precious metal. The article also explored how Axon can be used to interface with verification sensors, such as an XRF scanner.
We’ll probably be focusing more on a “short-and-sweet” article format, so keep an eye out for those in the coming month!
Over the last couple of months, we have received a lot of support from the community. We are very grateful to have such support, and we will keep working hard to ensure we deliver tangible results. Once again, thank you!
Hello NEM / Symbol Community! We are glad to announce yet another IoDLT use case article.
In November of 2019, IoDLT wrote an article detailing the use of swarm learning, blockchain, and Axon IoT to aggregate and process relevant data.In that article, one of the primary examples features hospitals sharing new information about various diseases, successful treatment methods, and de-identified patient information.
In light of recent events surrounding the terrible Coronavirus, we elaborated on these concepts to discuss how the methods above could be used to help detect viral outbreaks before they occur using Symbol, swarm learning, and Axon.
Give it a read here! https://iodlt.com/2020/02/12/symbol-blockchain-swarm-learning-axon-coronavirus/
We are pleased to present our (belated, very busy times!) February update. This month, we have begun to think much more in terms of growing the business and generating revenue, along with the major refactoring of our products. This month also marks the exciting news of signing up our first client: Mobi.
Axon’s core software had / is having a large overhaul. The state management and handshake mechanisms both got a much better redesign, which would allow for the implementation of different messages and communication protocols to be implemented (i.e Bluetooth). We are also looking into hardware security modules for the purpose of handling and securing private keys. Security, refinement, and an update mechanism are the next big focuses for Axon.
We are currently planning to add native Bluetooth support for Axon.
We are currently planning to implement TLS into Axon, where Axon will have an encrypted, secure connection to Catapult and communicate directly with the API node. Up until now, we have been using catapult-rest.
We wrote a NIP (NEM Improvement Proposal) for streamlining Symbol node configuration testing and development via Templates (node configuration standardization). It was accepted into nemtech as a standard for defining node configurations. This is currently being added into the symbol-cli, which you may find here. These contributions are quite significant, and we think they are crucial to the ecosystem.
As another R&D project, we have been looking into doing a Coronavirus tracker PoC on Symbol. If anyone is interested in contributing to such a project, please contact us for more details.
We are currently designing and getting a functional enclosure for Axon made.
We are excited and pleased to announce that we have signed a contract with Mobi to implement XEM and XYM payments into their app.
We have sent out emails to four drone companies to see if they would be interested in working with us to implement Symbol, based on our drone article.
We released a new article with a shorter format, “Using The Symbol Blockchain, IODLT’s Axon, and Swarm Learning To Sniff Out The Coronavirus”, where we detailed how Symbol can be used to aggregate information about the Coronavirus, and subsequently provide an authentic source of truth. We later translated it into Japanese, which got quite a bit of attention. Taka Nobu (also known as XEMbook) was especially helpful in recommending what we should do to keep the Japanese community updated.
We are planning to release another article on the topic of tracking assets on the blockchain via Bluetooth low energy devices, such as the Tile. Users can be incentivized to find lost items via Bluetooth, and they are rewarded on Symbol for their actions. We plan to also contact several of these Bluetooth tracking companies to see if they wish to integrate Symbol into their products.
We are very excited about signing our first client: Mobi. We have really appreciated the help and support from NEM Ventures and the NEM Community thus far, it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. We look forward to continuing to acquire more clients in the coming months and refining Axon’s tech.
Hello NEM Community!!
We hope that our March update reaches you in great health. This month, we’ve mainly focused on creating the first ever COVID-19 data tracker using the Symbol Blockchain. Also, we are planning Axon’s next steps. Despite the pandemic, we are still going strong with development to make innovative and impactful solutions using Symbol.
Axon had some minor refinements to the networking portion, however this may change again due to recent developments.
Our devnet is still going strong. We reconfigured it this month to make it very developer friendly with the following features - it is the most stable network we’ve had to date:
2048 Char metadata values
2048 Char messages
255 Multisignature cosignatory limit
0 Fees for namespaces, mosaics, and transactions (great for development!)
5k Aggregate inner transaction limit
120 Aggregate cosignatory limit
This enables our network to be very flexible for development purposes. Anyone is free to join or use it!
We have an exciting update mechanism for Axon planned for the future. This mechanism will utilize a “Snap” (snaps are secure, sandboxed applications) store that is embedded as an extension Catapult node. While this advanced update mechanism that is further along in the future, we can make use of the current Snap store to push production updates to Axon devices in the field.
In light of the pandemic, we’ve built a PoC tracker based on our proposal from the last update. Powering this data aggregation is a general purpose SDK for data reporting. This SDK is useful for any kind of application that requires data to be put on chain - including Axon’s IoT data. It provides a permissioned, secure way to authenticate and only allow relevant data to be posted to the chain. This kind of “strict” data reporting will allow for much more efficient blockchain usage. While still in development, we have developed a good base. Future plans include a method for incentivization, experimenting with homomorphic encryption for sensitive data, and secret sharing mechanisms to better shard / distribute data. Incentivizing data gathering can help any decision-maker (government agency, business planners/leaders,…etc) see a more “complete” picture of what is happening on the ground. It helps fill in data gaps, and it gives decision-makers ability to deploy resources exactly where and when it is needed. Here is how each feature of Symbol is used for this application as of this update:
Namespaces are used to establish a human-readable name for a data “Archives”. Data reports are sent and added to the Archive.
Along with the initial establishment of the namespace, a list of owners are declared and own this Archive account via a multisignature account.
These owners have sovereignty over what comes in and out of the Archive through Account Restrictions. Account Restrictions can either declare an “Authorized User” on a whitelist, or a “Certification Restriction” (an account has to own a certain token).
Each Archive has a set of data “Schemas” associated via Namespace Metadata. These schemas declare how the dataset submitted to the archive should look like, what the required fields are and what types they should be. One Archive can contain multiple schemas to represent multiple datasets, i.e “Overall COVID Cases”, or “Testing Results By Region”.
Schemas can be updated by owners of the archive to reflect new information. New schemas can also be added to the archive to represent new datasets.
Reports are submitted in the form of Complete Aggregate Transactions with TransferTransactions containing the report in chunks. Reports can be fairly long, up to 5,120,000 characters on our development network. Reports are pulled down, stitched back together, and can be displayed on a frontend.
We have signed up for the COVIDathon, where we will be submitting our decentralized and incentivized data reporting application. We are very excited to participate in our first hackathon, and hope we can make a real impact with Symbol.
Due to focusing on our data reporting protocol, we have not released an article this last month. However, we will do a solid write-up once our tracker is ready for public use.
We hope everyone is staying safe, and we appreciate the NEM community and NEM Ventures support in getting us this far!
I like it.
thank for share <3