To develop their new model, the researchers used Mechanical Turk, Amazon's crowdsourcing marketplace, and a virtual task domain called Cleanup World. The online domain consists of a few color-coded rooms, a robotic agent and an object that can be manipulated -- in this case, a chair that can be moved from room to room.

Mechanical Turk volunteers watched the robot agent perform a task in the Cleanup World domain -- for example, moving the chair from a red room to an adjacent blue room. Then the volunteers were asked to say what instructions they would have given the robot to get it to perform the task they just watched. The volunteers were given guidance as to the level of specificity their directions should have. The instructions ranged from the high-level: "Take the chair to the blue room" to the stepwise-level: "Take five steps north, turn right, take two more steps, get the chair, turn left, turn left, take five steps south." A third level of abstraction used terminology somewhere in between those two.