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In this presentation we shall discuss some of the ways in which CAD-style object descriptions are currently being used to facilitate the planning, programming, and verification of robotic applications, and also discuss some open issues that are the subject of ongoing research. Computer-based representations of parts, tools, fixtures and so forth are used today in the context of robot programming primarily as a source of data for solving, either automatically or with human assistance, some of the geometric and kinematic problems that arise in robotics. Some examples that will be discussed include the automatic planning of collision free motions, robot work cell layout, graphical simulation of robot motions, and the specification of initial values for certain parameters in a robot program. In each case, the problem is modeled and analyzed in terms of geometric objects of perfectly known shape and size with precise constraints on the relative positions and orientations of objects. A number of difficult problems remain, however, in CAD-based robot programming. These include: the representation and analysis of tolerancing specifications and other forms of uncertainty; modeling, analysis, and verification of robot programs incorporating the use of sensors; the use of geometric models to represent task constraints in compliant motion control; automatic updating of robot programs upon modification of part design data; and many more.