Cover image for Amazon Coding Interview: Robot Return to Origin (LeetCode)

Amazon Coding Interview: Robot Return to Origin (LeetCode)

mattupham profile image Matt Upham ・2 min read

Why should you practice coding problems?

Want a job at companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and more? Software engineering interviews mainly consist of data structures and algorithm problems.

You need to do a lot of these problems in order to succeed in these interviews. Below I’ll be going through an approach to a popular problem: Robot Return to Origin.

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Problem Statement & Approaach

The problem statement is:
“There is a robot starting at position (0, 0), the origin, on a 2D plane. Given a sequence of its moves, judge if this robot ends up at (0, 0) after it completes its moves.

The move sequence is represented by a string, and the character moves[i] represents its ith move. Valid moves are R (right), L (left), U (up), and D (down). If the robot returns to the origin after it finishes all of its moves, return true. Otherwise, return false.”

This basically says a robot will be given a list of moves, and we need to determine if the robot ends at the same point where it started.

If you want a better sense visually of how this is done, check out my in-depth explanation on YouTube below.

LeetCode: Robot Return to Origin (Overview and Solution)

This problem might seem confusing at first, but take note that direction does not matter. We'll be dealing with an X and Y axis. A straightforward approach is to see if X and Y both equal 0 at the end (origin 0,0), since this is where the robot starts.

For Up (+1) and Down (-1), we can add these to a Y variable. For Left (-1) and Right (+1), we can add these to an X variable. Then we can loop through our string of moves, add the resulting move values to our X / Y variables, and compare our outcome to X == 0 and y == 0.


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mattupham profile

Matt Upham


Web Developer (JavaScript, React, Python)


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Follow up: How would you extend this to N dimensions?

Assuming you get the pairs of opposite directions (U-D, L-R, etc.)