The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published a document explaining Walmart’s patent application for a system that involves several robots.
The blockchain-controlled androids will be tasked with delivering packages throughout the supply chain.
The machines will be equipped with wireless technology that will enable them to communicate and authenticate the identity of each other, the USPTO document reads.
Blockchain is affordable and more secure
The global supermarket chain has turned to blockchain in light of autonomous technologies becoming “more affordable and available for use”, making it vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Walmart will use blockchain to develop a way for the autonomous robots to authenticate each other. This, in turn, will allow for a more robust security system to safeguard the electronic devices.
Clients will also be allowed to access the blockchain system to track the delivery of their orders.
Extracts of the patent application
“In some embodiments, blockchain technology may be utilised to record authentication signals and identification information to facilitate or resulting from in-field authentication between autonomous electronic devices”, Walmart explains in its application to the USPTO.
“One or more of the autonomous electronic devices described herein may comprise a node in a distributed blockchain system storing a copy of the blockchain record. Updates to the blockchain may comprise authentication signals or identification information, and one or more nodes on the system may be configured to incorporate one or more updates into blocks to add to the distributed database,” it adds.
Not Walmart’s first
This is not Walmart’s first delivery-related patent application as last year it applied to patent a blockchain system to manage package delivery hubs similar to lockers.
The company has also applied for a patent for another blockchain-powered system to track delivery drones.