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A fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles was developed to field test control algorithms for cooperative behavior. Researchers and engineers at the University of Idaho require a low cost test platform capable of underwater communications to coordinate activities associated with multi-agent autonomous behavior. On each vehicle, a distributed approach to vehicle control uses five off-the-shelf 8-bit microprocessors that communicate together using Ethernet. This architecture provides many advantages over the traditional, centralized architecture, including ease of implementation, low cost, and reduced error rates during the design phase. This paper describes the process of distributing functional software tasks among the hardware in a way that minimizes the burden of inter-processor communications to take advantage of concurrent design concepts.