We study the problem where a robot has to pick up items of different sizes which are stored along a corridor. A natural requirement is that the items have to be collected in decreasing order of their sizes. We deal with various systems according to the location of the Entry/Exit station where the robot unloads the collected items after each trip along the corridor. The links of these systems with generalized coloring problems and other applications such that train shunting and pallet loading problems are discussed and related results are obtained. We conclude with several open questions on the topic. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.