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We describe complementary iconic and symbolic representations for parsing the visual world. The iconic pixmap representation is operated on by an extensible set of “visual routines” (Ullman, 1984; Forbus et al., 2001). A symbolic representation, in terms of lines, ellipses, blobs, etc., is extracted from the iconic encoding, manipulated algebraically, and re-rendered iconically. The two representations are therefore duals, and iconic operations can be freely intermixed with symbolic ones. The dual-coding approach offers robot programmers a versatile collection of primitives from which to construct application-specific vision software. We describe some sample applications implemented on the Sony AIBO.