Environmentally conscious drones can contribute to the fight against water pollution, which is good news, given that almost a third of the world does not have access to fresh water.
Almost a third of the world’s population does not have access to fresh water, the World Health Organization says. As the UN 2020 report on world water supply and climate change demonstrates, water consumption can be expected to increase by 20-30% by 2050, driven by growing population and industrial development around the world. However, water pollution poses a serious threat to humans and aquatic life, as evidenced in large part by the ecological disaster on the Kamchatka coast in September 2020. Iraq’s main port – the country’s most populous city – Basra is also approaching its own environmental disaster. The canals that pass through one of the hottest cities on the planet are constantly polluted – though this is the only source of fresh water for residents. However, there is a worldwide problem with the lack of systematic monitoring of water quality. And even if such measurements are made, the public still has no way of knowing what the results of the analysis are — for this information is never available through open sources. There are exceptions, but the authenticity of the data cannot be guaranteed even then.
Scientists say robots and drones are the best way to effectively control and treat water composition and contamination. This is explained by the fact that the information transmitted directly from the drone device is usually reliable, as it cannot be changed manually. This is where the Ethereum blockchain intelligent infrastructure comes into play. Taking advantage of its advantages, a group of robotics developers in Russia, St. Petersburg and Tolyatti has created an open source platform called Robonomy Network, which allows the deployment of ecological monitoring services – with stand-alone autonomous devices, i.e. drones. Their platform allows drones with a unique digital signature, operating according to a designated protocol, to evaluate the chemical composition of water through built-in sensors and independently, according to the following parameters: pH, oxygen level, conductivity, temperature and other indicators of various elements. The project is based on the idea of a decentralized network in which devices equipped with sensors collect data and send it to a shared ledger for secure storage. promises.
It is a swarm of drones that carry out joint inspections and also check each other’s results in order to eliminate false alarms and provide authentic and accurate data. Once the data is received, IPFS and Ethereum blockchain technologies are used to secure the data. The first guarantees that the information remains unchanged, while the second stores the information on the sensors that collect the data and the time of their recording. In addition, sensors in a peer-to-peer network do not have a single point of failure – they have open source access to data. Thus, the data obtained from these devices cannot be modified, but can be easily verified by a third party. Thanks to the electronic signature of each drone, all subsequent drone movements and their location in the given period are securely stored on the Ethereum block chain.
There are several advantages to using a reinforced drone control principle like swarms. It allows a more efficient overview of the general state of the environment, as the measurements are performed by several devices in the selected area. This allows professionals to create a more accurate water pollution map, while drones replace each other in the event of a failure – and constantly check the data collected for misreadings. The solution otherwise paves the way for the use of previously unavailable tools in environmental monitoring, logistics, manufacturing processes and other eco-monitoring of the areas that make up the future of smart cities.