Moving through space is complicated. Sure, it doesn’t seem like much planning to reach over the precarious stack of magazines, around the half-filled glass of water, and around the record player to grab the misplaced rubik’s cube, but that’s because humans have lifetimes of experience in moving through space. Robots don’t. To make a robot that could plan these types of intricate movements, researchers at Duke did the logical thing: They taught it to survey the entire space, subdivide that space into little rectangular prisms of area, and then check that against where it needed to move. Simple, right?