Today, I want to write about the project I am working in: the Junior Research Group VICCI
VICCI stands for “Visual and Interactive Cyber-physical systems Control and Integration”.
Core topic are the Cyber-Physcial Systems (short: CPS). Ask ten people what CPS are and you will get ten answers. It is just not clear yet. Here is my opinion:
CPS are “smart”, (semi-)autonome systems (networks) of elements (embedded systems) which have both, a real-world object (e.g. sensors or actuators) as well as a virtuell object (image of data in software). The interconnected elements together form a system capable of optimizing and adapting itself, supporting or performing processes in the real world.
Well, this description is not really clear, is it. Maybe like this: CPS are “automation 3.0”. While classical automation only uses simple control loops or are just remote controls, CPS can optimize and adapt their control mechanisms by themselves. Typical buzzwords are “Smart Factory”, “Smart Grid”, “Smart Office”, “Smart Home”, etc. It is always the idea that the surrounding “thinks along”.
In the VICCI project we follow the scenario of a “smart home”, an apartment which is thinking along and which supports it’s residents. For example, simple transportation or search tasks can be handled. Our CPS consist of sensors and actuators. The sensors are placed in a computer lab which will represent our model-apartment. We have sensores for temperature, light, humidity, cameras, etc. As actuators we have robots which are exemplary for service robots. You remember I, Robot. We (scientists) are working on it 😉
My field of work with our group is (in addition to coordination and administrative tasks) the visualization of CPS, more precisely, the internal state of the CPS. I create visualizations for analyzing: “What does the CPS think?” First results exist, but are not published yet. As soon as they are, I will write about them here.