Abstract: The report of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has placed CPS on the top of the priority list for federal research investment 6. This article first reviews some of the challenges and promises of CPS, followed by an articulation of some specific challenges and promises that are more closely related to the Sensor Networks, Ubiquitous and Trustworthy Computing Conference.

1. Introduction

The Internet has made the world “flat” by transcending space. We can now interact with people and get useful information around the globe in a fraction of a second. The Internet has transformed how we conduct research, studies, business, services, and entertainment. However, there is still a serious gap between the cyber world, where information is exchanged and transformed, and the physical world in which we live. The emerging cyber-physical systems shall enable a modern grand vision for societal-level services that transcend space and time at scales never possible before.

Two of the greatest challenges of our time is global warming coupled with an energy shortage, and the rapid aging of a significant fraction of the world’s population with the related chronic diseases that threaten to bankrupt healthcare services, such as Medicare, or to dramatically cut back medical benefits.

During the meeting of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Beijing on March 29, 2006, George David1 noted: “More than 90 percent of the energy coming out of the ground

is wasted and doesn’t end as useful. This is the measure of what’s in front of us and why we should be excited.” Buildings and transportation are sectors with heavy energy consumption. During the NSF CDI Symposium (September 5-6, 2007) at RPI, Class A. Jacobson2 noted that green buildings hold great promises. Energy used in lightening and cooling buildings is estimated at 3.3 trillion KWh. Technologically, it is possible to reach the state of Net Zero Energy Buildings, where 60-70% efficiency gains required for reducing demand and balance to be supplied by renewable. However, to reach the goal of net-zero energy buildings, we must tightly integrate the cyber world and the physical world. He noted that in the past the science of computation has systematically abstracted away from the physical world and vice versa. It is time to construct a Hybrid Systems Science that is simultaneously computational and physical, providing us with a unified framework for robust design flow with multi-scale dynamics and with integrated wired and wireless networking for managing the flows of mass, energy, and information in a coherent way.

According to the Department of Energy, the transportation share of the United States’ energy use reached 28.4% in 2006, which is the highest share recorded since 19703. In the United States, passenger and cargo airline operations alone required 19.6 billion gallons of jet fuel in 2006. According to Time4, 88% of all trips in the U.S. are by car. Work-related needs including daily work commute and business travel is a significant fraction of the transportation cost. Telepresence research seeks to make all