Cyber-Physical Systems: theory and practice with small unmanned aircraft

Brief Description

Professor Marco Caccamo

In this course, we will delve into topics that deal with the design and temporal analysis of cyber-physical and embedded systems. The goal of this course is to provide a deep understanding about resource management, analysis and safety of modern embedded systems that interact with the physical world, especially those that have different degrees of criticality and stringent timing requirements. Examples of such systems include modern automobiles, avionics and flight systems, space vehicles and satellites, medical equipment, power distribution grid, and robotics devices among others. This course has a seminar-based structure where instructor and students give in class presentations about state-of-art research papers published in top conferences and journals. The course is structured to improve students' research skills and their ability for critical thinking. In-class discussion will focus on state-of-art research work on cyber-physical and real-time embedded systems. Practical concepts learned in class will be applied to the design of a simple autopilot system for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); coding and testing will use an UAV emulation environment as class testbed. Course requirements include a project to be completed by students organized as teams.

Study goals

After completion of this module, students have developed skills to design robust, yet high performance real-time software architectures that can be deployed for safety critical cyber physical systems. Students will learn how to use analysis techniques that validate the temporal properties of a cyber-physical system and how to take advantage of multicore chips when running safety critical and real-time avionic/automotive software.

Teaching and learning methods

This course aims at promoting active learning and students are instructed in a research-centered style. The instructor introduces each covered topic and students follow by presenting in class the most relevant research on the discussed topic. A reading list of research papers will be given to the students to guide in–class discussion during the semester. Students will apply their new knowledge by working on a team project.

Administrative Information

Limited to 30 students. You have to register for the course in TUM-Online latest till October 8th 2015.

If there are more than 30 registrations, a fair assigment is done on October 9th based on the new and standardized EI lab assigment scheme.

Required Knowledge

Programming in C/C++; basic principles of programming real-time embedded systems; some knowledge of state feedback control and PID controllers. Class size will be limited to 30 students due to project constraints

Final exam

Final exam (written, 90 min.) will be on Friday, February 26th from 1.30pm to 3pm in room 4981

A two pages (each page is double side) hand-written "cheat sheet" is allowed for the final exam. You are encouraged to bring along a scientific calculator. Copied or machine produced "cheat sheet" is NOT allowed. Lecture notes and books are NOT allowed. Laptops, PDAs are NOT allowed.    

Regarding students’ evaluation, final grade will be assigned based on:  

• team project (50% of final grade)

• written exam (50% of final grade)

Kindly ensure that you have registered for the final exam using TUM-Online exam registration service.


Rattei, Florian; Room 4947
Caccamo, Marco; Room 4965