The devices we use in everyday life include ever more frequently and massively some form of information elaboration that permit the development of “smart” functions by autonomously interacting with the physical world. Furthermore, the systems we use are connected and enable remote monitoring and intervention in a context virtualized by the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm.
The intelligence/autonomy, interaction with the physical world and virtualisation ensemble brought to the definition of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), embedded systems with computing and communication capacity, strongly interconnected with the physical world and characterized by real-time answer requisites. CPSs are used in many applied settings to monitor and control the physical world and its processes. CPS examples can be found in automated industrial systems (industry 4.0), in autonomous and connected driving (CCAM) and in robotic systems (such as drones and mobile robots), ever more used in smart city solutions and support of man.
The current evolutionary trend in CPS refers to the increased usage they see in definition of autonomous systems. Single CPSs present limitations in monitoring/actuation capacity, energetic and computational resources, scalability and might not be enough in articulated automation scenarios. A paradigm has risen then that sees single CPSs equip themselves with Artificial Intelligence functionalities and organize themselves in Cyber-Physical Systems of Systems (CPSoS) interconnected with IoT and Cloud to face and solve complex problems with strong dynamism.
The vision is to have mobile robots and autonomous drones organized in swarms, autonomous vehicles able to cooperate among each other and with the infrastructure but also innovative industrial automation structures.
LINKS acquired competences in CPS and autonomous systems through the years and can support planning and development of complex solutions in many application fields.