The early stages of this research involved an investigation into the feasibility of systems to solve two problems in robotics. The first was a general approach to acquiring assembly descriptions by disassembling. The second was a general method for reasoning about mechanical fastening (necessary to solve the disassembly problem in real-world situations). The investigation of qualitative reasoning described in the body of the thesis arose from the latter of these two topics, but there are many other interesting projects that might be carried out in studying this overall area.
This appendix contains a ``navigation chart'' which I constructed at the start of my research to show the relationships between these possible projects, ranging from abstract geometric reasoning to physical control of robot manipulators. The chart has been included here both to illustrate my view of the wider context of this project, and also as a resource for readers who have a further interest in the disassembly/fastening problem.