Self-Sustainable Cyber-Physical Systems with Collaborative Intermittent Computing

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Cyber-physical systems have become a main technology driver for our intelligent society. However, almost all cyber-physical systems rely on battery-powered devices to function, which suffer from high maintenance cost for recharging/replacing the batteries and bring in negative environmental impacts due to the hazardous chemicals used in the batteries. To address this challenge, a new computing paradigm called intermittent computing (IC) was proposed which advocates a battery-free design where cyber-physical devices can be completely powered by energy scavenged from ambient sources such as sunlight, radio waves, and vibrations. Since its advent, many efforts have been made on addressing the challenges in IC, from the hardware to the software stack. In this vision paper, we make a brief summary of existing works on IC and discuss a more realistic setup where, instead of focusing on one IC node as done in most existing works, we propose to build a self-sustainable cyber-physical system through the collaboration of distributed IC devices-collaborative intermittent computing (CIC). We discuss the challenges in CIC and provide a vision for the future cyber-physical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicatione-Energy '21
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the twelfth ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450383332
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Event12th ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems, e-Energy 2021 - Virtual, Online, Italy
Duration: 28 Jun 20212 Jul 2021


Conference12th ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems, e-Energy 2021
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been partially funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) grant 392046569. Gaosheng Liu is funded by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Owner/Author.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • cyber-physical systems
  • energy harvesting
  • Intermittent computing
  • low-power sensing and computing


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