This paper describes the development of a robot fault diagnosis system (RFDS). Though designed ostensibly for the University of Cincinnati's autonomous, unmanned, mobile robot for a national competition, it has the flexibility to be adapted for industrial applications as well. Using a top-down approach the robot is sub-divided into different functional units, such as the vision guidance system, the ultrasonic obstacle avoidance system, the steering mechanism, the speed control system, the braking system and the power unit. The techniques of potential failure mode and effects analysis (PFMEA) are used to analyze faults, their visible symptoms, and probable causes and remedies. The relationships obtained therefrom are mapped in a database framework. This is then coded in a user-friendly interactive Visual BasicTM program that guides the user to the likely cause(s) of failure through a question-answer format. A provision is made to ensure better accuracy of the system by incorporating historical data on failures as it becomes available. The RFDS thus provides a handy trouble-shooting tool that cuts down the time involved in diagnosing failures in the complex robot consisting of mechanical, electric, electronic and optical systems. This has been of great help in diagnosing failures and ensuring maximum performance from the robot during the contest in the face of pressure of the competition and the outdoor conditions.