Dr. S. A. Akbar Chief Scientist

Email: saakbar@ceeri.res.in
EPBX: 2244

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) are smart networked systems with embedded sensors, processors and actuators that are designed to sense and interact with the physical world (including the human users), and support real-time, guaranteed performance in safety-critical applications. In CPS systems, the joint behavior of the “cyber” and “physical” elements of the system is critical – computing, control, sensing and networking can be deeply integrated into every component, and the actions of components and systems must be safe and interoperable. CPS connects strongly to the currently popular terms Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0, the industrial Internet, Machine-to-Machine (M2M), the Internet of Everything, TSensors (Trillion Sensors), and The Fog (like The Cloud, but closer to the ground). All of these reflect a vision of a technology that deeply connects our physical world with our information world. In our view, the term “CPS” is more foundational and durable than all of these, because it does not directly reference either implementation approaches (e.g. the “Internet” in IoT) nor particular applications (e.g. “Industry” in Industry 4.0). It focuses instead on the fundamental intellectual problem of conjoining the engineering traditions of the cyber and the physical worlds. Following applications have been the driver of the growth of cyber-physical system


With a projected global population surpassing 9 billion people by 2050, an uncertain and changing climate future, and up to 50% of food lost between production and consumption, our agricultural systems that generate food, fiber, feed, and biofuels need to be smarter and more efficient. Producing the needed agricultural products for future generations will require practices, processes, and systems that are sustainable (economically, environmentally, and socially). CPS technologies will play a key role in helping to increase efficiency throughout the value chain, improving our environmental footprint, and creating opportunities for a high-skill, middle-class workforce.

Water Distribution

Water distribution networks are spread over hundreds of miles.  CPS technologies can provide intelligent and adaptive demand driven control and monitoring by sensors and smart meters to enable optimal utilization of the water resources and ensuring proper quality of water.

Building Controls

Advances in cyber physical systems are changing the way buildings are controlled and operated. Building management systems are increasingly networked with substantial integration of building infrastructures both internally and with external infrastructures (e.g., power, transportation, first response, and law enforcement). These advances bring new potential for improvements in safety, utility, and energy efficiency. As with all cyber physical systems, building controls can also become a potential target for both internal and external attacks. There is a need for systematic analyses in integration of building infrastructures and the cybersecurity of buildings.


Complex, networked systems are increasingly critical for meeting military and national defense needs. CPS science and technology are fundamental to (i) Engineering Resilient Systems (expediting design and delivery of trustworthy, adaptable and affordable defense systems), and (ii) Autonomy (autonomous systems to augment military operations).

Emergency Response

Approximately 700 disasters occur each year with annual worldwide impact of over $100B/year. CPS technologies including next generation public safety communications, sensor networks, and response robotics can dramatically increase the situational awareness of emergency responders and enable optimized response through all phases of disaster events such as earthquakes, fires, and bombing attacks. Software enabled systems uniquely enable resilience, robustness, and flexibility.


Clean renewable electric energy resources such as solar and wind and innovative products such as (plug- in) electric vehicles are expected to advance significantly. The integration of intermittent and uncertain wind and solar sources and plug-in devices necessitates not only new sensors, switches and meters, but also a smart infrastructure for realizing a smart grid – an adaptive, resilient, efficient, and cost-effective electricity distribution system. CPS technologies are essential for the creation of this infrastructure, enabling the optimization and management of resources and facilities and allowing consumers to control and manage their energy consumption.

Intelligent Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a “smart factory”. Within the modular structured smart factories, cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. Over the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time, and via the Internet of Services, both internal and cross-organizational services are offered and used by participants of the value chain.


There is an urgent need to improve efficiency and safety in our transportation network including management of transportation infrastructure. CPS technologies can (potentially) eliminate bottlenecks and accidents caused by sub-optimal utilization of resources.

The confluence of the embedded and Internet worlds has led to the concept of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). These refer to ICT systems (sensing, actuating, computing, communication, etc.) embedded in physical objects, interconnected (including through the Internet) and providing citizens and businesses with a wide range of innovative applications and services. These also exploit the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and smart sensors  and trigger the next of innovation towards intelligent and autonomous systems.

Embedded ICT market to-day is estimated to grow to euro 350 billion in next five years driven by demands in industrial and social sectors. Key drivers in the Indian context will be Smart City initiatives, Transportation, Smart Grid, Health Services and Smart Manufacturing and Process Control.

Given the recent initiatives in related areas in isolated fashion in the last five years, CEERI has developed expertise in Control Systems, Structural Health Monitoring, Agri-eletronics and Water Technologies. Focused effort in this area of Cyber-Physical Systems can enable CEERI to embark on a path to develop technologies touching life of millions and transforming industries through cutting edge initiatives and making itself a potential partner in the new ICT revolution. Ability to deliver Smart Sensors would supplement and complement growth in this area.