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Revision as of 15:10, 1 December 2016

General Information


Name: Volker Strobel

Birthdate: 10 November 1987

Belgian mobile phone: +32 483 42 21 04

Belgian home adress: Avenue Wielemans Ceuppens 138, 1190 Forest / Bruxelles


PhD started: 7 September 2016

Matricule ULB: 000443899

Office phone: +32-2-650 27 12


Work Schedule

Lab Responsibilities

  • IRIDIA server maintenance



See separate page



Meeting 27/9/2016

  • Continue literature research (read papers mentioned in FRIA proposal)
  • Find out which labs are doing blockchain / cryptocurrency / cryptography research (see Google Docs)

Meeting 4/10/2016

Meeting 18/10/2016

Intermediate Meeting

  • French language course Mon 31 October - Fri 4 November time: 9am - 1pm

Meeting 15/11/2016

  • Continued literature research
  • Started first web application for smart contracts ( with very basic functionality:
    • Robots can be added to the swarm
    • Miner can issue a premium in Ether as incentive for removing oil
    • Oil can be removed by pressing a button -> sender gets rewarded
  • Experimented a bit with ARGoS
  • Discussed points during the meeting:
    • I need a convincing problem/application that absolutely requires the blockchain (could be very different from the oil spill removal task)
    • Look into PoW/PoS/PoX algorithms and see which one is best for robot swarms (also look into "Physical Proof of Work"); since robots are computationally rather limited, we need a clever consensus algorithm, otherwise, an attacker could easily perform a 51% attack; also find out which cryptocurrencies use which algorithm; see if it is possible to switch to PoS in Ethereum
    • Investigate possibilities for light clients (e.g., each city/organization could have a node that maintains the blockchain and the corresponding robots just run light clients)
    • I can use the footbot simulation for now but will probably use the e-puck in the real experiments

Meeting 22/11/2016

  • Application Scenario
  • Proof-of-X
  • Created simple interface between ARGoS and Ethereum node
  • TODO: Find out, which application scenario is suited for blockchain technology (for example by reading Swarm robotics: a review); see if Amanda's paper is relevant

Intermediate Meeting 25/11/2016

Meeting 29/11/2016

  • Finished Week 1 of Coursera course
  • Started ARGoS simulation for the collective decisions scenario (centralized version):
    • 10 robots, each robot has an account/address with some ETH
    • Robots with id 0 - 3: send opinion red; Robots with id 4 - 9: send opinion green
    • If a robot detects a wall or another robot it sends its opinion via the smart contract
    • After a random amount of time an epoch is finished, the majority opinion is determined, and the counters for red and green are set back to 0
    • TODO:
      • Make voting only possible if 1 ETH is send with the transaction
      • Distribute ETH after an epoch is finished
      • Base opinions on sensor inputs
      • Implement strategies for changing opinions (e.g., majority opinion, voter model)