Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are engineered systems that are built from, and depend upon, the seamless integration of computational algorithms and physical components. Advances in CPS will enable capability, adaptability, scalability, resiliency, safety, security, and usability that will far exceed the simple embedded systems of today. CPS technology will transform the way people interact with engineered systems -- just as the Internet has transformed the way people interact with information. New smart CPS will drive innovation and competition in sectors such as agriculture, energy, transportation, building design and automation, healthcare, and manufacturing.
The December 2010 report of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) titled Designing a Digital Future: Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology calls for continued investment in CPS research because of its scientific and technological importance as well as its potential impact on grand challenges in a number of sectors critical to U.S. security and competitiveness such as the ones noted above. These challenges and technology gaps are further described in a CPS Vision Statement published in 2012 by the federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) CPS Senior Steering Group.
Tremendous progress has been made in advancing CPS technology over the last five-plus years. We have explored foundational technologies that have spanned an ever-growing set of application domains, enabling breakthrough achievements in many of these fields. At the same time, the demand for innovation in these domains continues to grow, and is driving the need to accelerate fundamental research to keep pace.