July 22, 2015
Direct modeling CAD systems (SketchUp) can be made more precise and predictable by adding some facility for parameterization, this technique is called: Variational Direct Modeling
For an even broader overview of why variational direct modeling is a way forward: Direct Modeling - Who and Why Needs It? A Review of Competitive Technologies
A potential open source direct modeling CAD application should have this feature.
July 19, 2015
Researching the implementation of an Operational Transform web based CAD system.
Purchased a copy of this paper: Operational transformation for dependency conflict resolution in real-time collaborative 3D design systems
Which discusses a few specific OT functions necessary to deal with graphs of dependent objects, essentially this resolves some issues related to multiple people editing inter-dependent parametric data at the same time and how to merge conflicting operations.
Full size "mech warrior" robots, could be re-purposed to do construction/agricultural work... http://www.megabots.com/
Also, PhD Thesis on walking robots: Robust Execution of Bipedal Walking Tasks From Biomechanical Principles