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Machine vision offers manufacturing industries a more cost-effective means of developing and implementing robotic applications. How using a vision sensor can increase the flexibility and usefulness of robots in specific manufacturing applicatons is described, provided that specific features of the robot-vision application development environment are present. These features include an object model representation that incorporates both statistical and relational information, a robot-vision interface that accommodates the flow of data and control between the vision sensor and the robot controller, and an integrated user progranunng environment that allows the development of object-oriented robotic applications. A system is described that incorporates these features and some requirements for future development of robot vision are given.