A senior design project from students in Khalifa University’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is seeing huge success with real commercial application after winning two prestigious competitions. Senior students Abduraouf Hassan, Omar Al Mansoori and Omar Al Khoori developed a blockchain-powered smart container, called ‘CryptoCargo’, to provide real-time insights and increased transparency throughout the shipment process. Dr. Khaled Salah was their faculty advisor.
CryptoCargo was announced among the 15 winning projects in Zayed University’s Undergraduate Research Conference on Applied Computing 2020 from a total of 168 submitted. It also saw success in Dell Technologies’ Envision the Future Competition, shortlisted among the top 25 projects in the MENA region from a total of 227 projects submitted. CryptoCargo has reached the final stages of the Dell Technologies Competition and the team are looking forward to the next round.
“The CyrptoCargo project tackles the problems stakeholders encounter when damage is caused to their shipments,” explained Hassan. “Our blockchain-powered smart container aims to provide an enhanced supply chain management experience by offering real-time insights and increased transparency throughout the shipment process.”
As a shipment moves through its journey, it is susceptible to damage caused by extreme temperature ranges, humidity levels, light conditions, or passing through radiative environments. For shipments needing a temperature-controlled supply chain, housing sensitive items such as medical products, chemicals, radiative materials, meat or dairy products, for example, it is even more important to ensure the safeguarding and wellbeing of the cargo’s integrity. By continuously monitoring various metrics, stakeholders can be immediately alerted in case any abnormalities are detected. More importantly, all the data collected needs to be securely stored and made available at all times to the user, in a transparent format that eliminates any attempt at collusion, mistrust or data tampering between the involved parties.
“The CryptoCargo container is designed to monitor, track, alert, and securely store data readings pertaining to temperature conditions, container integrity, and position tracking,” explained Hassan. “Refined data is pushed to an always available cloud server, while violations are stored on the blockchain. Users can then access their shipment status from the frontend decentralized apps.
“The real-time monitoring of the shipment paves the way for more efficient shipments and reduces the likelihood of fraud. Storing violations on the blockchain’s immutable ledges provides an irrefutable guarantee of shipment quality, hence ensuring the integrity and resiliency of the data stored. It uncovers the truth of a shipment’s status, eliminates any possibilities of collusion to alter a shipment’s data, and diminishes any possible disputes between stakeholders.”
CryptoCargo is a unique and promising solution that showcases how the Internet of Things, the Cloud, and Blockchain technologies can work in harmony to solve real life challenges.
News and Features Writer
29 April 2020