A Cyber-Physical System (CPS) describes an engineered system with highly intricate convergence and synchronization of processes between computational and physical environments.
CPS is often described as the core of Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, where originating with manufacturing processes, physical and computational systems are seamlessly intertwined creating progressive knock-on effects with associated domains.
Critical to CPS are dynamic, visual management platforms – Digital twins – which extrapolate sensor or actuator data from physical systems.
The above diagram, while somewhat crude, expresses the high-level CPS relationships quite clearly. The bottom third of the image represents various environments in the physical space and the data collected from sensors and actuators.
Data collected moves from the physical space into integrated platforms (Cyber) where the data is processed, refined, and visualized through various software services – all happening in sync and in real time. These processes are represented by the middle and top thirds of the image.
Domains expected to be impacted most include:
– Environmental Sustainability
CPS is a multi-disciplinary area requiring input from various engineering disciplines and expertise to achieve the needed outcomes.