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Natural language interaction with robots is an important goal since it promises access to robots by non-experts. Specifically, natural language interaction with robots would allow robots to be used easily and to be taught new skills. To produce such interaction requires, however, a choice among a variety of technologies in several areas. A working natural language interface to a robotic assembly system is described that allows a user to converse with the system about both vision and manipulation and to teach the system new vision knowledge and new assembly plans. The success of this approach suggest that its technologies are an appropriate choice for future real-world natural language interfaces to robot assembly systems.