A Planning System for Robot Construction Tasks
Author(s)Fahlman, Scott E.
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This paper describes BUILD, a computer program which generates plans for building specified structures out of simple objects such as toy blocks. A powerful heuristic control structure enables BUILD to use a number of sophisticated construction techniques in its plans. Among these are the incorporation of pre-existing structure into the final design, pre-assembly of movable sub-structures on the table, and use of the extra blocks as temporary supports and counterweights in the course of construction. BUILD does its planning in a modeled 3-space in which blocks of various shapes and sizes can be represented in any orientation and location. The modeling system can maintain several world models at once, and contains modules for displaying states, testing them for inter-object contact and collision, and for checking the stability of complex structures involving frictional forces. Various alternative approaches are discussed, and suggestions are included for the extension of BUILD-like systems to other domains. Also discussed are the merits of BUILD's implementation language, CONNIVER, for this type of problem solving.