This paper describes the evolution of the author’s research focus from a single manufacturing technology, robots, to a broader and less technical focus on design processes. This evolution was not haphazard, but was prompted by technical and nontechnical lessons acquired while performing research and attempting to apply it in industrial settings. The inability of any one technology to solve a wide range of problems, and the inability of technology alone to impact the complexities of manufacturing are among the facts learned. What follows is a rather personal account of this evolution.

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