• Dr. Susan Calvin, a pioneer in the field of robotics, answers questions put to her by an unnamed Interviewer, who is also the narrator of all the linking sections.
• The Interviewer recalls the circumstances surrounding the growth of the robotics industry and the instrumental role Calvin played in designing both robots and the business of manufacturing and distributing them.
• The Interviewer asks Calvin to speak about her own personal perspectives on robots and their relations with humans.
• Calvin refers to resistance from labor unions, who were reluctant to cede work that could be done by humans to robots, and from religious groups, who had "their superstitious objections."
• Calvin’s reminiscences lead her to recall Robbie, a non-verbal robot made and sold in 1996 as a nursemaid.
Chapter 1 - Robbie
• A little girl named Gloria plays hide-and-seek with her non-verbal robot, Robbie; Gloria is demanding, temperamental, and manipulative, but...
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