Ocean Protocol and Robonomics Network

Image generated by request “Robots in ocean image”
Image generated by request “Robots in ocean image”


It is hardly a secret for anyone that the main driving force behind the development of modern technologies is data. Data surrounds us everywhere, it is generated continuously, but at the same time it is really available to a very limited number of people and companies that dispose of it at their discretion, not often opening it to a wide range of researchers.

At the same time, the availability of various drones and robots makes it possible to automate the collection of information about the environment – for example, about the levels of air, soil, and water pollution. The spread of IoT devices and various assistant robots opens up access to information about user behavior in various situations. All this data can be used to train machine learning models, as well as applied in various fields from marketing to environmental studies.

Project collaboration ocean protocol and Robonomics Network shows how to use modern technologies to create autonomous systems and IoT devices that generate and provide access to data.

What is ocean

Ocean protocol is a decentralized data system based on Ethereum smart contracts. Its purpose is to publish and access data services. It is to the services, and not to the data itself, since the Ocean Network operates only with metadata and access, the data itself is outside of this blockchain.

Ocean Protocol Architecture

  • Applications – marketplaces and applications that allow broadcasting services (data, algorithms, compute-to-data) to blockchain determined price

  • Libraries – API for working with Ocean – ocean.js and ocean.pyas well as utilities that ensure the operation of the platform:

    • Aquarius – metadata index providing quick search

    • Provider – downloading data and communicating with the compute-to-data infrastructure service

    • The Graph – a third-party utility for developers to create their own applications and marketplaces

  • Smart contracts – smart contracts of Ethereum and other supported networks.

Ocean Protocol Architecture
Ocean Protocol Architecture

How it works

The publication of a data set occurs in the form of metadata describing them, available for search and allowing you to understand what kind of information and in what form it contains. The data itself is not stored on the Ocean network, the blockchain only controls access to it.

The system uses two types of tokens: ERC721 (data NFT) and ERC20 (datatoken). The ERC721 token provides an exclusive right to provide access to data – the issuance of data tokens. To gain access, you need to send 1 data token to the data provider, thanks to the blockchain ecosystem, information about this operation will be stored and no one else will be able to use the same token. The metadata specifies the conditions for accessing data: temporary or permanent, a link to storage or streaming. Also, there is an option to access Compute-to-Data, when only calculations are made with the data and the result is given, while the data itself is not sent anywhere. This is essential for providing sensitive information when confidentiality is required.

Robonomics Network

Robonomics is a platform for organizing secure, decentralized technical and economic communication between IoT devices, robots and people. The project is based on the same blockchain, which allows, among other things, the creation of autonomous robots controlled by a decentralized cloud and even having direct access to digital markets through cryptocurrencies!

Robonomics is currently developing as a parachain network Polkadot (Kusama). One of the tasks facing the project is nothing less than the creation of a full-fledged decentralized economy of robots, in which they can act as independent actors. You can get acquainted with the philosophy of the project in their white paper.

Architecture of IoT services based on parachain Robonomics

Robonomics contains a set of software for connecting IoT devices using the HTTP/MQTT protocol and complex robotic systems compatible with ROS (Robot Operating System).

Robonomics Infrastructure
Robonomics Infrastructure

IoT functions implemented in the Robonomics web service at the moment:

  • message broker in p2p network based on IPFS protocol

  • service for storing data in IPFS and placing hashes in the blockchain (“blockchainization” of data)

  • device control (turn on / off, start / stop, etc.) by commands from a decentralized network

Thus, the digital twin of the device is stored in the blockchain, allowing it to receive commands and control the real device, while having a single version of data on its state throughout the entire life cycle. According to the authors, the Robonomics parachain allows you to update the state of the digital twin every 6 seconds. Details and examples here.

Digital twin concept
Digital twin concept

In the process of functioning, devices inevitably generate data about their work or the world around them, and they may also need third-party data to complete tasks.

Using the Ocean Protocol platform, a robot or IoT device can independently (using the Robonomics Network) upload, monetize and access the necessary data.

To work with devices, Robonomics uses ROS (Robot Operating System) – an ecosystem for programming robots. Interaction with the Ocean Protocol is carried out through the library for ROS – ocean_ros, which uses the ocean.py API. Example integration of Ocean and ROS, as well as an interesting case receiving the creation and use of telemetry data tokens from the Spot robot (Boston Dynamics).


The emergence and development of such projects as Robonomics allows us to look into the future and imagine what our life filled with cyber-physical systems might look like tomorrow and think about how a new economy will be built and developed, in which they will participate. Ocean Protocol, in turn, solves the obvious problem of creating a simple platform for providing access to data, monetizing and using it. Both platforms are interesting and worthy of attention in their own right, and their combination allows us to set new tasks and find new approaches to their solution.

The use of decentralization technologies in these projects shows that the blockchain is a technology that goes beyond being used as a platform for cryptocurrencies.

Useful links:

  1. https://robonomics.network – Robonomics website

  2. https://oceanprotocol.com – Ocean Protocol website

  3. https://blog.aira.life – Robonomics blog on Medium

  4. https://blog.oceanprotocol.com/ocean-protocol-partners-with-robonomics-network-to-utilize-iot-data-1d44cba7468c – announcement of cooperation between Ocean and Robonomics

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