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Robotics software integrated into a CADCAM system is a major step forward towards the planning and designing of manufacturing cells on a systems basis. Such is the appeal and commercial potential of this new software tool that already two major CADCAM vendors have marketable products, while others are announcing development plans. The real rewards will come when this software can be used to effectively program robots off-line; meanwhile simulation brings its own rewards, and certainly there is no denying that robot animation does no harm to the vendor's high-technology and progressive image. This paper looks collectively at several available systems, summarises their features and comments on their usefulness.