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An UAV and Blockchain-based System for Industry 4.0 Inventory and Traceability Applications
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1  Department of Computer Engineering, Faculty of Computer Science, Universidade da Coruña


Industry 4.0 has paved the way for a world where smart factories will automate and upgrade many processes through the use of some of the latest emerging technologies. One of such technologies is Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which have evolved a great deal in the last years in terms of technology (e.g., control units, sensors, UAV frames) and have reduced significantly their cost. UAVs can help industry in automatable and tedious tasks, like the ones performed on a regular basis for determining the inventory and for preserving the traceability of certain items. Moreover, in such tasks it is essential to determine whether the collected information is valid or true, especially when it comes from untrusted third-parties. In such a case, blockchain, another Industry 4.0 technology which has become very popular in other fields like finance, has the potential to provide a higher level of transparency, security, trust and efficiency in the supply chain and enable the use of smart contracts. Thus, in this paper it is presented the design and some preliminary results of an UAV-based system aimed at automating the inventory and keeping the traceability of industrial items attached to Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) tags. Such a system is able to make use of a blockchain, which receives the inventory data collected by the UAVs, validate them, ensure their trustworthiness and make them available to the interested parties.

Keywords: UAV; drones; Industry 4.0; traceability; blockchain; inventory; supply chain; RFID; smart contracts
Comments on this paper
Kylie Acevedo
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Wendy Beier
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