A Cryptography-Powered Infrastructure to Ensure the Integrity of Robot Workflows

Publication from Robotics

Benjamin Breiling, Bernhard Dieber , Martin Pinzger, Stefan Rass

Journal of Cybersecurity and Privacy, MDPI AG, vol. 1, pp. 93-118 , 1/2021


With the growing popularity of robots, the development of robot applications is subject to an ever increasing number of additional requirements from e.g., safety, legal and ethical sides. The certification of an application for compliance to such requirements is an essential step in the development of a robot program. However, at this point in time it must be ensured that the integrity of this program is preserved meaning that no intentional or unintentional modifications happen to the program until the robot executes it. Based on the abstraction of robot programs as workflows we present in this work a cryptography-powered distributed infrastructure for the preservation of robot workflows. A client composes a robot program and once it is accepted a separate entity provides a digital signature for the workflow and its parameters which can be verified by the robot before executing it. We demonstrate a real-world implementation of this infrastructure using a mobile manipulator and its software stack. We also provide an outlook on the integration of this work into our larger undertaking to provide a distributed ledger-based compliant robot application development environment.


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Keywords: robotics, program integrity, robot programming, security, cryptographic infrastructure, compliance