Cyber-physical systems (CPS) bring together the physical and digital systems dimensions into a common infrastructure.  Embedded computers and networks monitor and control the physical processes, with feedback loops where physical processes affect computations and vice versa.  CPS integrate the dynamics of the physical processes with those of the software and networking, providing abstractions and modelling, design, and analysis techniques for the integrated whole.

Cyber-physical production systems (CPPS) consist of autonomous and co-operative elements and subsystems that are connected based on the context within and across all levels of production, from processes through machines up to production and logistics networks.  There are three main characteristics that describe them:

  • Intelligence (smartness) – the elements are able to acquire information from their surroundings and act autonomously and in a goal-directed manner;
  • Connectedness – the ability to set up and use connections to the other elements of the system, including human beings, for co-operation and collaboration, and to the knowledge and services available on the Internet;
  • Responsiveness towards internal and external changes.