This paper introduces a novel agent-based solution approach to Task Based Design (TBD) and illustrates it with a fault tolerant manipulator design problem for a satellite docking operation aboard the space shuttle. Task Based Design software is an important component of a rapidly deployable manipulator system. Such a system consists of interchangeable modular manipulator components and includes support software for design, control, and trajectory planning. The TBD software allows the user to determine the manipulator configuration optimally suited for a given task. After the user reconfigures the manipulator to this optimal configuration, the controller and trajectory planner automatically adapt themselves to the new configuration so that the manipulator is ready for immediate deployment.

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