A vision system for a mobile robot employs at least two arrays of sensors for obtaining data on the position and distance of objects in a workspace. One of the sensor arrays is used principally to see near objects and the other array is used principally to see far objects. The two arrays are symmetric about an axis that extends through the body of the robot. The robot carries a computer which controls the sequence in which the sensors are serially polled for information. Data received from the sensors is stored and provides a representation of the space and objects seen by the sensors. A software program causes the computer to manipulate data from the sensors to simulate rotation of the robot around the axis of symmetry and control behavior of the robot to complete goals set by input commands from a natural language processor.