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A cyber-physical system (CPS) or intelligent system is a computer system in which a mechanism is controlled or monitored by computer-based algorithms. In cyber-physical systems, physical and software components are deeply intertwined, able to operate on different spatial and temporal scales, exhibit multiple and distinct behavioral modalities, and interact with each other in ways that change with context. CPS involves transdisciplinary approaches, merging theory of cybernetics, mechatronics, design and process science. The process control is often referred to as embedded systems. In embedded systems, the emphasis tends to be more on the computational elements, and less on an intense link between the computational and physical elements. CPS is also similar to the Internet of Things (IoT), sharing the same basic architecture; nevertheless, CPS presents a higher combination and coordination between physical and computational elements.
Examples of CPS include smart grid, autonomous automobile systems, medical monitoring, industrial control systems, robotics systems, recycling and automatic pilot avionics. Precursors of cyber-physical systems can be found in areas as diverse as aerospace, automotive, chemical processes, civil infrastructure, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, entertainment, and consumer appliances.