NetObjex Blog.

NetObjex Integrates Chainlink Oracles To Power Its IoT-Based Automation Engine

by Shiju K S on February 26, 2021


NetObjex is thrilled to announce our integration with the industry-leading decentralized oracle network, Chainlink, to power our Digital Twin Automation solution. Chainlink oracles enable the secure and reliable relay of IoT data streams stored on the NetObjex platform to smart contract-based blockchains like Ethereum, as well as provide reliable exchange rates used during business processes.

NetObjex collects data from IoT edge devices, refines it, and stores it on our digital platform via smart contracts to facilitate transactions based on that data. We then use Chainlink to relay that data to the blockchain, which has already yielded several compelling results:

  • Creating new data-driven smart contract applications
  • Incentivizing travelers to be conscious consumers
  • Helping crude oil buyers make informed procurement decisions

The superiority of a distributed system lies in its lack of a single point of failure. As the world transitions from exchanging information to exchanging value over the web, distributed ledger technology (DLT) plays a critical role as backend infrastructure that allows data to be stored in an immutable manner and exchanged trustlessly. Similarly, decentralized oracles are equally fundamental, connecting DLTs to external real-world data in a tamperproof manner.

As the most time-tested and secure decentralized oracle network, Chainlink is hastening the advancement of useful IoT-based smart contracts by bringing NetObjex’s IoT data on-chain without a single point of failure. This allows the exchange of value based on cross-platform transactional logic understood by both NetObjex and Ethereum. Our integration with Chainlink has enabled NetObjex to make visionary leaps in the field of IoT and digital automation.

Why and How We Use Chainlink

The oracle problem refers to blockchains having no built-in capabilities to connect to real-world data existing outside the blockchain (off-chain). They require the use of blockchain middleware known as an oracle, which fetches and delivers real-world external data on-chain to be consumed by the smart contract.

While producing sophisticated solutions utilizing DLTs, the smart contract developers at NetObjex realized the critical need for oracles to bring IoT data on-chain. That said, using centralized oracles creates a single source of failure that can compromise the end-to-end security of our platform. Thus, Chainlink’s secure decentralized oracle network provides an additional layer of trust to the off-chain data being fed to our smart contracts.

Chainlink has an extensive collection of nodes run by professional blockchain DevOps teams who have a long history of providing secure and reliable data to smart contracts. Our solutions can aggregate multiple IoT sensors and any number of Chainlink nodes to create computational redundancy and high uptime. Using Chainlink oracles ultimately reduces the time and effort spent by our developers for validating the accuracy and authenticity of the off-chain data.

Since the introduction of Chainlink, NetObjex developers have realized far reaching automated solutions by creating and deploying Chainlink nodes with custom External Adapters that allow them to self-authenticate and retrieve specific edge device data stored on our platform. These Chainlink External Adapters convert data from the NetObjex platform to a format that is consumable by the Ethereum blockchain, which the oracle node relays on-chain.

For the use cases mentioned below, our developers have set up NetObjex’s oracle nodes with jobs and bridges customized to fit these processes. Additionally, general-purpose implementations are currently under development and will be made publicly available through the Chainlink Marketplace upon completion.

Developed Use Cases

Loyalty Program for the Conscious Traveler

Conscious consumption is the process of engaging in the economy with more awareness of how your consumption impacts society at large. While it might come naturally for some people to identify that certain resources are scarce and should be used judiciously, others often require a nudge in the right direction to be conscious of their usage. Our solution aims to reward travelers who willingly cut down their water and energy footprints. We will install IoT edge devices in select hotels to keep track of a guest’s water and energy consumption for the duration of their visit. The installed sensors will then send the consumption data to the NetObjex Matrix where independent room data is stored.

A Chainlink oracle network with custom adapters will send the consumption data to a smart contract that computes reward eligibility; if the traveler meets the consumption reward criteria, then the reward is automatically transferred to the traveler. Rewards are calculated in reference to the average threshold consumption for all travelers. The smart contract enforces higher rewards for travelers that consume the least amount of water and energy during their stay. Reward tokens can be cashed out on decentralized crypto-exchanges, or after a vesting period be used to pay for future stays booked using travel app. Our reward system provides an incentive for travelers to be conscious of their consumption, and gives hotels an extra marketing tool to attract travelers with modest budgets, or those looking for sustainable stays.

Omniflow

In this implementation, we target the decision process of purchasing crude oil. The edge devices installed at the oil drilling rigs of our partners will generate sizable amounts of data, which enables them to determine the quantity and quality of the crude oil being drilled. The specific data we obtain from these IoT devices in this use case is the flow rate (in barrels per hour) and the density (in kg/m³) of the extracted crude oil. Both of these datasets are streamed to the NetObjex platform.

Our Chainlink oracles with custom-built external adapters fetch the spot price of crude oil, as well as retrieve properties of the extracted crude oil from the NetObjex platform. This is enabled by Cron type job initiators that schedule recurring job runs carried out by our NetObjex oracle nodes. These data updates are automatically triggered by an Ethereum smart contract at predetermined time intervals. Additionally, we leverage Chainlink’s widely used ETH/ETH Price Oracle to obtain the proper exchange rate for purchasers.

The purchasers can verify these parameters and choose a pricing plan based on the density of the oil. Upon plan selection, the purchaser can go into escrow with the crude oil seller. The smart contract will enforce automatic punitive actions via on-chain penalization if either party does not meet their contractual obligations . At the end of the escrow period, the buyer can purchase the crude oil barrels by transferring the USD equivalent amount of ETH to the seller. Thus, three Chainlink adapters are employed to calculate the final ETH transfer value: one for fetching the oil spot price, one for retrieving density & flow rate, and one for obtaining the ETH/USD exchange rate. A similar mechanism can be developed to facilitate petroleum purchases.

Aquai

In recent years, we’ve witnessed a proliferation in home automation enabled by IoT devices, hency why we have focused on a home implementation. Using Aquai, households can track, automate, and control their consumption and usage of water. There is bi-directional data transfer in this use case, and for both instances, we use Chainlink extensively.

In one direction, we have a Cron type job initiator that can trigger a smart contract, which then provokes the actuation of an edge device. The smart contract would check the conditions at which the system should commence and the external adapter would send a POST request to the NetObjex platform. Upon receiving this request, the platform will initiate the actuation of the appropriate edge device connected to it. This can be used to schedule appliances, for example, when a sprinkler system should water the plants.

From the other direction, the quantity of water used by a sprinkler system in the garden could be transmitted to the blockchain via a Chainlink adapter. Then the smart contract can check whether the garden has been sufficiently watered by evaluating the volume of water dispersed by the sprinkler and comparing it to a user-defined parameter, such as the size of the garden. If the required parameters are met, a Chainlink oracle can notify the smart contract to turn off the sprinkler system. This can be applied to various other home applications like determining when to heat swimming pools, when to run the dishwasher, and so on.

Conclusion: The Need for Platforms and External Storage

The block size debate, or the amount of data a blockchain can store in a single block, has been a hot topic in the blockchain community for many years. Blockchains are nefariously known for their inability to store or process huge chunks of data. Even decentralized storage systems like IPFS are plagued with storage limitations. As such, blockchain technology hasn’t been able to keep up with the pace at which data and connected systems have been growing.

The block size debate, or the amount of data a blockchain can store in a single block, has been a hot topic in the blockchain community for many years. Blockchains are nefariously known for their inability to store or process huge chunks of data. Even decentralized storage systems like IPFS are plagued with storage limitations. As such, blockchain technology hasn’t been able to keep up with the pace at which data and connected systems have been growing.

IoT devices send continuous streams of data, and processing them is a tedious task for any blockchain platform. To solve this problem, the NetObjex Platform has integrated several IoT-based real-world solutions that utilize some distributed ledger solutions. We store these devices and other physical entities as digital assets in our platform, which is also equipped with the proficiency to store and refine the stream of data from the edge devices. This allows NetObjex to take computational and storage loads off of blockchains.

“IoT data is critical to building more efficient data-driven systems around the world, and now with Chainlink we can bring those key IoT data sets on to the blockchain to power automated business processes,” says NetObjex’s CEO and Chairman Raghu Bala. “Chainlink’s large collective of secure nodes and decentralized architecture enables us to secure the data feeds driving our Digital Twin automation solutions, both by relaying IoT readings on-chain and providing us with up-to-date market data for conducting fair market payments.”

About NetObjex

NetObjex provides enterprise software and business solutions for real-time tracking, tracing, and monitoring of digital assets. The industrial-grade NetObjex Matrix digital twin asset management platform unifies IoT, AI, and Blockchain technologies as a continuum for intelligent automation and data marketplaces. NetObjex clients and partners benefit from global coverage across key verticals like energy, manufacturing, transport, healthcare, communications, retail & government.

About Chainlink

Chainlink is the most widely used and secure way to power universally connected smart contracts. With Chainlink, developers can connect any blockchain with high-quality data sources from other blockchains as well as real-world data. Managed by a global, decentralized community of hundreds of thousands of people, Chainlink is introducing a fairer model for contracts. Its network currently secures billions of dollars in value for smart contracts across the decentralized finance (DeFi), insurance and gaming ecosystems, among others.

Chainlink is trusted by hundreds of organizations to deliver definitive truth via secure, reliable data feeds. To learn more, visit chain.link, subscribe to the Chainlink newsletter, and follow @chainlink on Twitter.

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