“RoboCraft” could reliably plan a robot’s behavior to pinch and release play dough to make various letters, including ones it had never seen. While manipulating play dough is fun and easy for 2-year-olds, the shapeless sludge is hard for robots to handle. A graph-based neural network then uses said particle data to learn to “simulate” the object’s dynamics, or how it moves. Then, algorithms help plan the robot’s behavior so it learns to “shape” a blob of dough, armed with the training data from the many pinches. “If you think about dumpling or dough making, just one gripper wouldn’t be able to solve it.