Desing for multi-processor communications for a robot?

I am looking for common design patterns for robotic software that requires communication across several real-time processors.
For example, several PC/104 boards will each handle a specific task, running tight control loops or algorithms. They will communicate across standard TCP/IP packets to send the results to the next processor.
Are there some examples of how to best structure the communications across the boards?
Thanks
Terminatron Robotics LLC
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