Special Issue on Blockchain Applications in Robotics and Automation

Aim and Scope

Rapid progress in Robotics, AI, Automation and IoT leads to an exponential growth of the number of connected intelligent systems, devices, robots and AIs. Current cloud-based approaches to Smart Cities, Smart Lands, Direct and Inverse Logistics (needed for the circular economy applications) and the likes show serious issues when implemented in a multivendor technologically heterogeneous market driven environment. Moreover, the centralization of data management by a small number of global hubs - that current cloud approaches require, raise concerns about citizens’ privacy and excessive data, capital and thus power concentration, for many countries of their borders.


The blockchain, a distributed ledger whose information is protected by a consensus algorithm, enables the creation of complex networks of heterogeneous robotic devices, smart sensors and AIs. Secure distributed computing and data storage platforms such as the Ethereum blockchain are already showing the opportunity to make robotic applications more responsive, secure and simplified in development. Blockchain technologies may play a pivotal role in the desired transition to smart society. There are numerous alternative options for the development of heterogeneous robotic applications based on the blockchain technologies. 


The aim of this Special Issue is to provide a reference on the state of the art and the opportunities and issues related to the development of very large multivendor multiplatform complex robotics, AI and Automation networks as expected in the Smart Cities, Smart Lands and Supply Chains of the future. We look for original research articles about recent advances in the applications of blockchain Robotics and Automation.


In the last couple of years, the editors have organized a few workshops on the topic, at the European Robotics Forum and IEEE RAS Ro-Man, plus two Symposia which were organized at the MIT Media Lab. 




• Blockchain for Robots and AI agent networked systems and IoT
• Smart Contracts for Robot Coordination
• Blockchain for Multi-Agent systems
• Blockchain and Industry 4.0
• Blockchain techniques for privacy and security for robotic systems in Smart cities, Smart Logistics, Smart X.
• Blockchain techniques for Privacy and security for Trustworthy Human Robot interaction
• Digital Markets for the Coordination of Large Multivendor Heterogeneous Networks of Robots in Smart Cities and Smart Economies 
• Blockchain for Swarm Robot application 
• Blockchain for Heterogeneous Decentralized Multi-Robot collaboration  
• Ethical and Cultural Issues


Important Dates


1 December 2021 - Submission deadline

15 January 2021 - First decision to authors

15 February 2022 - Resubmission

15 March 2022 - Final decision

25 March 2022 - Final manuscripts upload

31 March 2022 - Guest editorial due

June 2022 - Publication


Guest Editors


Fabio Bonsignorio 106001 

F. Bonsignorio

Heron Robots

Via Malta, 3/7

16121 Genova (Ge), Italy

tel: +39 339 84 06 011

fabio.bonsignorio@heronrobots.com, fabio.bonsignorio@gmail.com


Sooyong Park 108684

Sooyong Park

Professor at Sogang University

Director of Blockchain Research Center at Sogang University

Sogang University

35 Baekbeom-ro, Daeheung-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea



Eduardo Castello Ferrer 232839

Eduardo Castello-Ferrer

MIT Media Lab, 

75 Amherst St, Cambridge, 

MA 02139, USA



Onder Gurcan 249806

Önder Gürcan

CEA LIST, University Paris Saclay

CEA Saclay-Nano-INNOV Bât. 862-PC 174

91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France

onder.gurcan@cea.fr, onder.gurcan@gmail.com.


Aleksandr Kapitonov 215145

Alexander Kapitonov

ITMO University

Kronverksky Pr., 49, 197101

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation



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