Our prototype: machines that pay each other autonomously
The prototype we created can be best described as This network is made up of production machines, transport equipment, or other devices such as sensors, which may be distributed globally. In order to interact with this network, we created a web-based user interface, where products can be handed over to the network via drag and drop. The user can then adjust product attributes (i.e., quality, quantity, or delivery date). A display shows how information on current orders and individual offers is being transmitted through the network.
The user is then presented with a price based on the current state of negotiations. On the strength of this information, the user can decide whether to issue an order or not. Once an order has been issued, the interface executes an IOTA transaction, and the respective machines simultaneously receive the command to start production.
The price is calculated on the basis of the individual offers from each of the machines in the network. To enable the machines to participate in this market, we implemented a small-scale, multi-agent system along with a preliminary communication protocol for the negotiation process. As soon as each machine has calculated its offer price, this is sent to the interface, where the best offer is displayed.