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The growing complexity of today's embedded real-time systems demands new methods and tools in order to manage the problems of design, analysis, integration and validation of complex systems. This paper describes an object-oriented platform-based design process for real-time embedded systems. The proposed approach promotes a smooth transition from high-level UML specification to implementation, which is composed by hardware and software components. The transition from higher to lower abstraction levels is facilitated by the use of an OO realtime API, whose underlying facilities can be optimized according to the application needs and selected platform. An integrated toolset is used to support the intermediate steps of the design process. In order to illustrate the proposed approach and related toolset the design of an embedded real-time automation system for an "intelligent" wheelchair is presented.