Remember the Jetsons? They had a really useful robot, Rosie, to help them do the household chores. Rosie is one step closer, as researcher have improved the ability of robots to plan and to perform complex actions. The researchers tackled the problem with a hierarchical, progressive algorithm that can reduce the computational cost associated with performing complex actions. Key is to reduce the complexity of the larger goal of task and motion planning into smaller steps, then make a detailed plan for the first few, leaving the exact mechanisms of subsequent steps for later. This just sounds like us humans, planning only the first and second step of a complex activity and figuring out the rest along the way (mit.edu).