1 By 1990, over 100,000 industrial robots will be operating in the United States. This dramatic increase in the use of industrial robots will require robot vision systems so that the machines can respond and adapt to their environment, i.e., be intelligent. These advances can lead to flexible manufacturing systems and to automated factories. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of machine vision techniques, with special emphasis on three dimensional perception and methods for non-contact measurement of the coordinates or surface normals of objects using stereo, shading, and projection techniques. These methods include two dimensional model matching, shape from shading, stereo, and single image stereo. Surface fitting methods are then considered which permit one to determine which mathematical model best fits a simple surface. These techniques for three dimensional measurement and recognition are essential for machine perception for intelligent robot applications.