Security in Robots and Automated Systems

Alex Dropplinger posted a Freescale blog on Securing Robotics and Automated Systems where she asks the question,“How should we secure robotics and automated systems?”.

My first thought on this was duh, make sure your robot is running Java. Java's built-in services for authentication, authorization, encryption/confidentiality, and the like can be leveraged and benefit robotic or autonomous implementations. Leveraging these built-in services and pluggable encryption models of Java makes adding security to an exist bot implementation much easier.

But then I thought I should ask an expert on robotics so I fired the question off to Paul Perrone of Perrone Robotics. Paul's build automated vehicles and other forms of embedded devices like auto monitoring of commercial vehicles on highways.

He says that most of the works that robots do now are autonomous so it isn't a problem in the short term. But long term projects like collision avoidance technology in automobiles are going to require it.

Some of the work he's doing with his Java-based MAX, set of software building blocks containing a wide range of low level and higher level software modules that developers can use to build simple to complex robot and automation applications faster and cheaper, already provide some support for JAUS compliance and because their based on Java, access to standards based security APIs.

But, as Paul explained to me, "the bottom line is…it depends on the criticality level of the bot, it's network connectivity, and whether or not a standards compliance is required."

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Roger Brinkley

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