Online Engineering is a book about the art of enabling the execution of a common application by entities that remain physically separated. Engineering is the art of exploiting existing systems to the benefit of human-kind. From gigantic structures such as bridges and buildings to miniscule systems such as microprocessors and MEMS, this fundamental idea is visible at play. And it is precisely because we build on top of what is available to us, and not from scratch, we have achieved an exponential rate of progress. The field of Online Engineering is no exception. As is the case with any emerging field, a variety of applications and corresponding point-of-views fall under the umbrella of online engineering and the exact definition of online engineering becomes rather subjective. However, if we focus our attention on the cornerstones; what forms the foundation of these applications; it is always a network ─ a means to bridge physical separation of multiple entities that must work together. In other words, the key underlying issue that conceptually unites these varied applications is that the entities that execute the applications remain physically separated.
Online Engineering is a growing discipline that includes diverse applications utilizing a network such as the internet. It continues to receive a great deal of attention from educators, managers and information technology professionals. This text compiles, organizes and explains a range of cutting-edge applications of online engineering, from remote laboratories to tele-robotic systems. The reader of this book will learn about the practical issues in designing an online engineering system along with some creative solutions. Engineers, managers and educators will benefit from this incomparable resource. Online Engineering has many facets: some require deep theoretical studies, some not; some are business-driven applications, some are to satiate academic curiosity. The authors have tried to create an eclectic collection of works in this book.
The intended readership of this book includes practitioners, managers, engineers, scientists, IT professionals, teachers, faculty and students who are interested in the general application and art of designing on-line systems within the areas of engineering applications, information technology, information sciences, systems engineering, technology management, industrial technology and engineering, automation and computing.