Logic in the Blocks

Simple puzzles can give computers an unexpectedly strenuous workout

By Ivars Peterson, 15:48 PM April 15, 2008

The parking-lot attendant at the trendy P'SPACE Club has a tough job. Whenever someone leaves the nightspot, she must retrieve the patron's car from the crammed lot, often having to move other vehicles out of the way to clear a path to the exit. She has to do it quickly to earn a generous tip, but being efficient can be a real challenge. The attendant's quandary is an example of what computer scientists and engineers describe as a motion-planning problem. Such challenges can arise when a rob...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/logic-blocks