In the face of rapid development in information technology coupled with a growing
dynamism in global markets, new concepts of building computer controlled machines
have proliferated. Such approaches promise to lead to a new generation of machines
which typically share common design objectives. They seek to advance the underlying
concepts of contemporary computer controlled machines (such as robots, CNC, etc.)
in a way that resultant systems demonstrate attributes of flexibility, extendibility,
configurability, openness, modularity and so on. [Continues.]
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.