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The key problems in producing software to control intelligent robots are identified, the principal one being the difficulty of producing a detailed requirements specification. A series of process steps is defined and described in relation to the development of an intelligent robot excavator. The importance of a rational decomposition of the system into modules is stressed, and one particular component of the robot excavator is discussed in some detail-the activities manager. It is shown how techniques such as a 'production system' and a 'blackboard' were implemented in Ada to produce a flexible and easily maintainable system. Two other components are described-the low level controller and the safety manager. A brief description of the hardware platforms used is included.