Cyberphysical systems are an impressive technology, and it continues to shock people today with the possibilities it has. Have you wanted to know about Cyberphysical systems? Then you are at the right place. In this guide, we shall be discussing Cyber-physical systems. Read through this guide, and you’ll know all you need to know about cyber-physical systems.
The term cyber-physical system was coined in 2006 by the United States National Science Foundation’s then Program Manager Dr. Helen Gill. However, these systems have a much longer history that dates back to the beginning of cybernetics, which was defined by mathematician Norbert Wiener as the science of control and communication in machines and humans2.
What are cyber-physical systems?
In its most basic form, a Cyber-Physical System (CPS) is a platform consisting of a mechanical system managed by computer algorithms and tightly connected with the Internet and its networked users.
The platform’s physical-mechanical components, represented by smart sensors and actuators, and software components, represented by computer and networking devices, are inextricably linked. In other words, CPS refers to a collection of physical devices (‘hardware’) that are controlled by computer-based algorithms, most of which are software.
According to that definition, personal computers are CPS devices, and any physical device controlled by an algorithm might be considered a computer. In this situation, CPS would represent all digital computers in the world, not just ‘standard’ PCs, but everything that comes with an electronic system that employs digital algorithms – or can be an extension of such systems.
Physical (or ‘hardware’) and software components are inextricably connected in Cyber-Physical Systems, with the potential to function in a variety of spatial and temporal modes. They can exhibit a variety of behaviors that alter dynamically with the setting.
Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) are based on the seamless integration of computer algorithms and physical components. These systems connect digital and analog devices, interfaces, sensors, networks, actuators, and computers to the natural environment as well as to man-made objects and buildings.
Cyber-physical systems generally combine sensor networks with embedded computing to monitor and control the physical environment, with feedback loops that allow this external stimulus to self-activate either communication, control, or computing.
Types of Cyber-physical Systems
According to Roberto, there are two categories of cyber-physical systems, autonomous cyber-physical systems, and closed-loop human-machine systems.
- Autonomous cyber-physical systems are systems that are capable of making decisions and operating independently. However, at this point in time, cyber-physical system development is mostly in semi-autonomous systems. These are systems that operate independently only in pre-defined conditions, such as semi-autonomous drones. Users can set a flight path and then real-time machine vision will enable the drone to avoid obstacles, removing the need for manual flying.
- Closed-loop human-machine systems, or cyber-physical-human systems. In these systems, a human operator is able to interact with the other elements of the system only if and when needed. The system is a cognitive system, able to learn from the environment, from the human, and from itself to make decisions in real-time, but the human remains an integral part of the system’s decision-making process.
Design of Cyber-Physical Systems
Concept designing is a complicated problem since there is no standard approach in design practice that incorporates all sorts of engineering and creative disciplines in CPS. Recently, disciplines have taken use of co-simulation to collaborate without imposing new design methodologies.
The 5C architecture — connection, conversion, cyber, cognition, and configuration – may be used to design and deploy a cyber-physical production system.
- Connection- Devices can be built to self-connect and self-sense their activity.
- Conversion- Data from self-connected devices and sensors are evaluating the characteristics of important concerns with self-aware capabilities, and machines may utilize the self-aware information to self-predict possible difficulties.
- Cyber – Each machine creates its own “clone” by using these instrumented features and some methods to better describe the machine’s health pattern. For further synthesis, the established “clone” can self-compare for peer-to-peer performance.
- Cognition – The results of self-assessment and self-evaluation will be displayed to users in the form of an “infographic,” illustrating the content and context of potential concerns.
- Configuration – To ensure robust performance, the machine or production system can be adjusted based on priority and risk criteria.
Cyber-Physical Systems Applications:
The growing use of these smart Cyber-Physical Systems aims to heighten the implementation of large-scale systems by optimizing the functionality, autonomy, reliability, safety, and usability of these networks.
- Manufacturing – This industry is most commonly associated with Cyber-Physical Systems. These systems can be used in the manufacturing industry to optimize processes by automating the whole manufacturing process, creating a single, decentralized platform for entire factories. Automation in manufacturing saves the cost of labor and material and cuts back production time.
- Healthcare and Medical Devices – In this sector, Cyber-Physical Systems can be utilized to track the status and physical conditions of patients, remotely and in real-time. Additionally, and importantly, in a non-intrusive manner. Furthermore, Cyber-Physical Systems can be used to assist patients with aging in place, meaning applying smart sensors in homes to detect accidents and alert the system immediately.
- Agriculture – Within the agriculture industry, Cyber-Physical Systems can help eliminate pesticide use by selecting and using the pesticide only when it’s really needed. Not only is this method efficient, but also environmentally friendly. Also, these systems can empower agricultural management to accurately study, collect, and analyze various information about climate, soil, water, etc.
- Security – The emergence of smart technology has increased security measures in a variety of ways. “From mobile app development for real-time remote monitoring to fully fledged intelligent surveillance systems,” CPS technology has empowered smart security to advance and improve.
- Automotive – IoT and CPS technology have made specific advancements in smart car technologies that can make vehicle transportation safer; “blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and forward collision warning” are just three features that, if implemented in all cars in the United States, could reduce the number of crashes and in turn, save millions of dollars a year.
- Smart city management- TechTarget defines a smart city as “a municipality that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare.” A smart city ecosystem is complex, including systems related to intelligent traffic management, emergency response technologies, and public safety solutions — the use of cyber-physical systems technology is paramount in planning, implementing, and improving the optimization of smart cities.
- Infrastructure – In 2021, the United States infrastructure received a C- rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. What is the solution to our unstable infrastructure? Improving infrastructure starts with technology. Using advanced digital technologies like IoT sensors and video cameras, smart infrastructure empowers smart cities to enhance the experience of citizens, businesses, and city operators.
CPS engineers must master cutting-edge technologies in order to upgrade existing city infrastructure systems — many of which have not been updated in years. Bringing novel technologies to physical frameworks allows for more upgrades to critical infrastructure.
Challenges of Cyber-Physical Systems
Some of the challenges of Cyber-Physical Systems are as follows:-
Abstraction of Real-Time Systems
Due to the huge number of sensors and actuators, as well as computers that exchange various types of data, it is critical to design a new framework that allows us to abstract the salient characteristics of systems in real-time. The topology of a CPS network, for example, might change dynamically as a function of physical factors.
As a result, there is a need for research into novel distributed real-time computing and communication mechanisms capable of accurately reflecting the important interactions among CPS elements and, as a result, providing the required level of performance, such as safety, security, resilience, and dependability.
Durability, Safety, and Security
Interactions with the physical world, unlike logical computing in cyber systems, are inherently laden with uncertainty due to factors such as unpredictability in the environment, errors in physical equipment, and possible security risks.
As a result, in CPS, overall system resilience, security, and safety are critical. The intrinsic nature of CPS may be used to achieve this goal by utilizing physical information about the system’s position and time.
Modeling and control of Hybrid Systems
The main difference between physical and cyberspace is that the former changes in real-time, whilst the latter changes in response to discrete logic. As a result, a rigorous hybrid system modeling and control mechanism that includes both the physical and cyber elements is necessary for CPS design.
To close the feedback control loop, for example, a new theoretical framework that can link continuous-time systems with event-triggered logical systems is necessary.
In this paradigm, both temporal scales (from microseconds to months or years) and dimensional orders (from on-chip to perhaps planetary size) should be carefully examined.
Control over Networks
Time-based and event-based computing, time-varying delays, transmission failures, and system reconfiguration are all barriers to the design and implementation of networked control in CPS.
CPS researchers encounter the following issues while creating network protocols: assuring mission-critical quality-of-service via wireless networks, balancing control law design and real-time computing restrictions, bridging the gap between continuous and discrete-time systems, and ensuring large-scale system dependability and robustness.
In conclusion, Cyber-Physical Systems are a “system of systems” that are sophisticated enough to mix software and hardware via networked connections.
In other words, it combines the physical and cyber worlds to improve productivity in a variety of industries such as engineering, healthcare, transportation, smart buildings, smart greenhouses, and many more.