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What are Cyber-Physical Systems and the technologies that enable it

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  • 3 min read

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are engineered solutions obtained through the integration of computational algorithms and physical computations.

These systems connect physical world objects with the world of virtual information processing. Due to this, there has been a total revolution in the way people interact with physical entities.

CPS = Advanced Connectivity + Smart Data Management

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What do Cyber-Physical Systems do?

  • Record physical data directly by use of sensors and accordingly influence physical processes by actuators.
  • Evaluate recorded data from both the real world (physical components of that system) and the digital world (internet).
  • Communicate efficiently with other CPSs by use of digital networking and cloud computing.
  • Have multimodal interfaces for communicating with people.

CPS enabling technologies

CPS and Embedded Systems

Embedded systems work on control logic and typically work on a single device. A Cyber-Physical System can be thought of a large scale embedded system wherein the devices have the capability to interact with each other and have wide access to the internet for yielding better results from information received in real-time.

CPS and Internet of Things

Cyber-Physical Systems are aided by IoT. If there was no IoT, there’d probably be no CPS. CPS integrates computing elements with physical processes especially by use of sensors and actuators and IoT is used to enable their inter-connection.

Basically, CPS ensures a more interactive environment between all the devices while IoT ensures that this interaction is harmonious because it is ubiquitous.

When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems.

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Applications of CPS

Cyber-Physical Systems are used in industrial applications like smart factories, smart grids, smart buildings, smart cities, health-care systems and so on.

Smart Factories

A smart factory is the integration of machines that can communicate with each other via the internet. The main security challenge in smart factories is to protect data from the connected machines in the network.

Also, there can be many attacks on the network carried out by competition businesses to get project designs of that industry that can lead to a loss in its business.

Health Care systems

CPS helps in a better interaction of medical related devices and services. Security concerns in CPS has driven health care systems to include identity theft and fraud by stealing patient records, access to controlled substances by impersonating medical staff or patients and also disruptive attacks that could shut down hospital systems, critical equipment and testing devices in labs.

Also read: 3 ways Google Assistant can help protect your home

The invention of the CPS driven applications is leading to the 4th industrial revolution by which physical components are getting better connected to cyber-space.

Check out this IEEE paper to know how CPS is influencing Industry 4.0. Check out the video below to learn the ethics of cyber-physical systems.

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Parinita Haldar

Parinita Haldar

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