Dealing with obstacles is an inevitable part of life, and it looks like robots may be surprisingly adept at applying creativity to the challenge.
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University developed software that not only helped a robot deal efficiently with clutter but also revealed considerable creativity in solving problems.
In one case, the robot, officially named the Home Exploring Robot Butler, used the crook of its arm to cradle an object to be moved.
That's great in relatively clutter-free locations like factory production lines, but not so much in homes -- or on distant planets.
It can also be taught to pay attention to items that might be valuable or delicate.
Currently, CMU's algorithm forges ahead full-bore with any plan it makes, but work is under way to help it make corrections along the way.