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A theoretical approach is developed to deal with man-machine interactive systems requiring advanced decision making in unpredictable environments. The hierarchical method consists of a three-layer control of "increasing intelligence and decreasing precision." The lowest level consists of several controllers designed for effective control with existing hardware using an approximation theory of optimal control. The next level is that of a coordinator which utilizes new computer architectures to effectively control the overall hardware system. The highest level is the organizer which supervises the performance of the overall system. Both highest levels are computer implemented and the research involved is in developing the appropriate architecture and software to accommodate others. The lowest level, aimed for end-point control tasks, is dominated by typical hardware control methods. The coexistence of the two approaches makes the method novel. Application of intelligent control techniques to robotics and manipulative systems is considered.