The Merriam Webster dictionary defines autonomy as “the quality or state of being self-governing or the right of self-government”. The autonomy of physical devices is growing as they converge with software and are connected in networks through new combinations of hardware and software. Interconnection in networks enables such cyber-physical systems to communicate and interact with each other. Such communication and interaction, in turn, makes it possible for these systems to develop self-configuring, self-optimising, self-protecting and self-healing capabilities. When combined, these capabilities give cyber-physical systems great autonomy in the performance of their tasks.
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