Mobile Cyber-Physical Systems
Professor Luis Almeida (University of Porto, Portugal )

Cyber-Physycal systems refer to those systems that are deeply inmersed in the environment and go beyond what has been commonly coined as embedded systems, for example due to large heterogeneity, poorly defined frontier or highly variable composition. One particular kind of systems that meet such definition are the teams of autonomous agents that are becoming more and more common in applications such as search, rescue, demining and surveillance. These mobile cyber-physical systems (M-CPS) allow relocating sensors and actuators dynamically to improve global performance, be it improved sensing, improved control or more efficient actuation. However, achieving the necessary cooperation is not trivial given that the team composition is variable with agents entering and departing, the network topology is highly dynamic and the communication channel is prone to interference from many sources.
In this talk we will address some of the main issues that need to be solved to build efficient M-CPS such as synchronization, information sharing, membership, location-awareness and consensus. We will illustrate these issues with a few case studies, including a robotic soccer team from RoboCup Middle-Size League, which also exhibits most of the typical requirements and constraints of M-CPS. The focus will be on the networking and middleware infrastructures and we will advocate the use of dynamically reconfigurable and adaptive techniques to cope efficiently with the uncertainties of the topology, membership and interference, reducing their impact on the timeliness of the communications.

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