Michael was a teenaged boy once upon a time, and had a Commodore Vic20.
It is there he learned some basics of computer technologies.

The basics..

These basics allowed him to write some interesting software for the time, including speech synthesis in 1981.
In those days all he had was numbers he could type, not a digitized sound.

Moving on..

In partnership with his father, he needed to manage a small business, as a result he wrote some basic stock management software.

The Robotics begins..

They (Michael and his father) bought a laser cutting system in 1989, and there were many areas where Michael felt he could improve the system.
The big changes were with the concept of automating design with parameters, as well as dealing with larger complex files.
A real challenge which is still an issue for others systems today is handling complex curves at the robotics. Most systems use lines, many use arcs.
Michael's systems (there are a few) also use Bezier curves.