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RVSI Acquires Auto Image ID, a Two-Dimensional Bar Code Reader Company

OMRON Automation - Americas

CANTON, MASSACHUSETTS - January 11, 2001 -Robotic Vision Systems, Inc. (RVSI) (Nasdaq: ROBV) today said it has acquired Auto Image ID, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of digital imagers used in the reading of direct part marks and two-dimensional (2-D) bar codes.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. 

The move is designed to strengthen and solidify RVSI's position as the leader in the fast growing 2-D direct part-marking segment of the Automatic Identification and Data Capture marketplace.  Auto Image ID, which will operate within RVSI's Acuity CiMatrix Division, will have as its primary focus the penetration of new and existing markets for scanning of 2-D Data Matrix codes that are directly marked on various surfaces, including all types of metals, plastics, and silicon wafers. 

Direct part marks - unlike bar codes which are typically printed on labels - use marking methods such as laser etching and dot peening to mark directly on an items surface for permanent identification.  This is especially useful for marking components that are subjected to harsh processing environments.  This marking and identification technology is now being adopted worldwide in the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries.  Direct part marking technology enables work-in-process tracking through the entire manufacturing cycle providing more cost effective work flow control and custom manufacturing.  After the manufacturing process is complete, on-parts marks provide permanent  'life-time' traceability.

'We believe this is the year that direct part marking moves into the mainstream of automatic identification,' said Pat V. Costa, Chairman and CEO of RVSI.  'The adoption of unit-level traceability is being driven by the need for higher quality, lower costs and control of the supply chain.  We believe Data Matrix and other 2-D bar codes represent the future of tracking and tracing, and of helping boost productivity.

'The acquisition of Auto Image ID ensures we have the resources - engineering, product development, sales, and marketing - that we will need to capitalize on this major opportunity,' Mr. Costa said.  'Auto Image ID brings a very good knowledge of the printed circuit board industry and, working together, we believe we can open that market far more quickly than could either company working alone.'

Auto Image ID and RVSI have been instrumental in setting marking standards and together will intensify that process.  'Together we bring the highest level of expertise available by far to our customer's applications to assure successful implementation,' Jim Hahn, President of Auto Image ID said.  'We can also provide more value to our customers going forward with better economy of scale in both development and production costs.'

Auto Image ID adds to the rich RVSI imaging technology base by providing compact lighting for hand-held scanning and extreme ease-of-use and setup for fixed position scanning.  These features have made the Auto Image ID HawkEye series of products a very popular choice for major users of DPM scanning. 

About RVSI
Robotic Vision Systems, Inc. (RVSI) has the most comprehensive line of machine vision systems available today. Headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, with offices worldwide, RVSI is the world leader in vision-based semiconductor inspection and media transfer equipment. Using leading-edge technology, RVSI joins vision-enabled process equipment, high-performance optics, lighting, and advanced hardware and software to assure product quality, identify and track parts, control manufacturing processes, and ultimately enhance profits for companies worldwide. Currently serving the semiconductor, electronics, aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical and packaging industries, RVSI holds approximately 100 patents in a broad range of technologies.

Additional information for shareholders
Except for the historical information herein, certain matters discussed in this release include forward-looking statements that may involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may vary significantly based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: the historical cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry, risks in products and technology development, market acceptance of new products and continuing product demand, the impact of competitive products and pricing, changing economic conditions, both here and abroad, timely development and release of new products and strategic suppliers and customers, the effect of the company's accounting policies and other risk factors detailed in the Company's most recent registration statement, annual report on Form 10-K and 10K/A, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For further information contact:
Neal H. Sanders (781) 302-2439
For release: January 11, 2001 at 9 a.m.


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