XTS is a mechatronic system that contains a modular, fully integrated linear motor with power electronics and displacement measurement in one device. Movers are controlled on the guide rails using built-in, high-speed motion networking. (Source: Beckhoff Automation)
Chuck, I agree that this is interesting for factory automation applications. The key is really the cost of these sections, and the incentive it provides machinery designers to build around this concept. Could be very powerful, especially when we see robot mechanisms being designed into machines basically as sophisticated subsystems.