This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Energy series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and energy.
In this interview we speak with Devid Palčič, President of Robotina Group, to understand how his company is using blockchain to transform the energy business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind Robotina? Why and how did you begin?
DP: Robotina started years back as a system integrator in industrial automation providing innovative, but yet reliable solutions. Through years we understood that principles applied in the industry are to be extended to the other areas, like smart buildings, energy and cities. Following that path, we are now focusing on smart spaces, smart energy and smart industry, all of them connected to our HIQ Universe, an IoT, cloud based service. Our Smart Energy business has evolved and therefore, we it is now in our spin-off subsidiary, Robotina ROX GmbH in Switzerland.
2. Please describe your use case and how Robotina uses blockchain:
DP: Our IoT Cloud technology and controllers are the technological backbone of our ROX Universe and HEMS (Home Energy Management System), which are bread and butter activities of the Robotina ROX GmbH. ROX, an utility token, is used as a fuel during all activities of the ROX Universe platform and is needed to keep it running and providing services to the community. ROX Universe services, together with HEMS are able to activate consumers, producers and ultimately prosumers of electricity forming and proactive and collaborating ecosystem, which helps to reduce consumption and stabilizes the electrical grid, which is being more and more de-stabilized by increasing number of high power consumers, like electric vehicles, heat pumps and air conditioners and high power producers, like house PV plants and energy storage systems. By doing so, it earns part of savings generated by its activity. In addition to this, the ROX Universe platform will provide more services, like smart ESCO, group buying and others. Blockchain is used to record transactions and for ROX itself. In addition blockchain based smart contracts will regulate both platform based services and third party services hosted on the platform.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
DP: Robotina ROX has thousands of customers and Community members, who are physical persons and due to personal data protection we are not able to disclose their names. Their main benefits start from awareness, grow through being able to control their assets, getting smart ambient and therefore consuming less energy and finally they fully benefit from the cooperating ecosystem of connected active prosumers, who save and earn by providing their assets to the services offered by the ROX Universe. Of course, let me remind you all, that not all services are available now and that our roadmap plans a fully functional platform in 2020.
4. What other blockchain use cases in the energy industry are you excited about?
DP: Blockchain, Artificial intelligence and IoT are exciting technologies, which can be as well used in the energy industry, which itself is a traditional and slowly evolving. I believe blockchain will provide interesting cases in the P2P energy trading in the near future, however some technological and practical bottle-necks have to be removed both in the fields of blockchain and IoT.
5. Where will Robotina be in 5 years?
DP: Robotina ROX will be operating the World’s first platform with millions of active prosumers connected and with a huge community. Third party services will be available to members and smart contracts will seamlessly safeguard relations, parties and agreements. We will help to reduce pollution and wastage, so will greatly contribute to a cleaner and better world. We may be the biggest distributed virtual prosumer without owning a single power plant and the biggest distributed virtual battery bank without owning a single battery. Knowing, that availability accounts for 25% of the World’s 4 trillion USD yearly electricity cost, and that our solution can dramatically reduce this, we have all the grounds to expect a successful business.