The mission of CPSRC is to promote and conduct collaborative research activities on cyber-physical systems that are usable, autonomous, and secure.  Research at CPSRC focuses on three primary areas: autonomous systems, human sensing, and interconnected things.  The center also serves as the umbrella for three clusters, which conduct cutting edge research pertaining to Aerial Vehicles, Internet of Things, and Self-Driving Cars.


Autonomous systems are engineering systems that work with limited human intervention. Such systems can operate in conditions that are harmful and/or dangerous to people, avoid hazardous situations to protect passengers, monitor remote environments, all the while maximizing their performance specifications and efficiency. Examples to such systems include unmmanned aerial vehicles in the National Airspace as part of commercial aviation, disaster relief, and search/rescue missions, personal robots for household assistance, and self-driving cars. Autonomous systems research at UC Santa Cruz focuses on communication and control algorithms in wireless networks, cyber security, guidance and navigation in uncertain environments, computational and theoretical methods for control design, and their numerous applications to engineering and science.

CPSRC Faculty with expertise in this area Renwick CurryGabriel ElkaimQi GongDejan MilutinovicRichard MontgomeryAbel RodriguezRicardo SanfeliceMircea TeodorescuDaniele VenturiMichael WehnerDonald M. Wiberg

Human sensing includes standard sensor technologies and emerging ones for detecting behavior, intention, and decisions of humans. Human sensing technologies within CPSRC holistically integrate acoustic sensors, image recognition, infrared detectors, radar, chemical or biomedical sensors, or detection of a mobile phone, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi signals of static and wearable devices. Applications include wearable sensors for the “quantified self” as well as health monitoring, ubiquitous positioning and localization, indoor navigation, wildlife monitoring, assistive technologies for senior individuals and people with disabilities, and citizen science. Research in human sensing technologies at UC Santa Cruz focuses on biomedical sensor networks, human-computer interaction for special needs patients, assistive technologies for the visually impaired, rehabilitative robotics. 

CPSRC Faculty with expertise in this areaJames DavisGabriel ElkaimMatthew GuthausSri KurniawanRoberto ManduchiDejan MilutinovicKatia ObraczkaRicardo SanfeliceLeila TakayamaMircea TeodorescuMarilyn WalkerMichael WehnerDonald M. Wiberg

Interconnected things comprise networks of computer-controlled physical mechanisms communicating with each other for efficient operation and enhanced capabilities. These mechanisms include a diverse set of devices such as autonomous vehicles, consumer electronics, and biomedical sensors. The interconnected things paradigm enable a deep integration of computerized systems with the physical world to allow for efficient use of resources and accomplish complex tasks not achievable by a single subsystem. Applications include development of communication protocols, traffic prediction and routing, intelligent transportation, smart cities, distributed power systems, software-enabled appliances, distributed sensing systems, and sensing using mobile phones. At UC Santa Cruz, research is conducted on distributed sensing, wireless communication protocols, mobile computing, cloud computing, internetworking, and human computer interaction.

CPSRC Faculty with expertise in this areaRenwick Curry, Luca de Alfaro, Gabriel ElkaimJ.J. Garcia-Luna-AcevesSri KurniawanPatrick ManteyJohn MusacchioKatia ObraczkaChen QianAbel RodriguezRicardo SanfeliceBruce SawhillJim WhiteheadYu Zhang 

Research Clusters at UCSC


Aerial Vehicles Research Cluster 

With cutting edge research expertise in autonomy, privacy, cyber-physical security, flight dynamics and control, robotics, temporal verification, stochastic simulation and machine learning, the CPSRC at UC Santa Cruz is uniquely poised to lead the nationwide effort across industry, academia and national labs for integrating autonomous aerial traffic in the National Airspace.


Internet of Things Research Cluster 

The center’s research in Internet of Things (IoT) converges on novel approaches to the development of new concepts, algorithms, protocols, sensors, hardware and software required to enable IoT deployments that minimize energy consumption, provide security and privacy to end users and applications, and scale by orders of magnitude from what is viable today.


Self-Driving Cars Research Cluster

With over 30 professors in a range of related disciplines, access to highly-trained student researchers, and access to facilities that include a low-cost closed driving course, CPSRC is ideally positioned as a partner in the development of self-driving vehicles.  The center’s research in the areas of autonomous systems converges on novel approaches to the development of new concepts, algorithms, sensors, and software required to make self-driving cars a reality.