Modern domestic robots, or “drudgebots”, are as common in 21st century homes as automatic dishwashers and color television sets. They’re designed to free humans from boring or repetitive household chores such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. A typical home drudgebot resembles a trashcan on wheels with mechanical arms and glowing electronic eyes. Almost all modern drudgebots are capable of following voice commands and many are capable of at least limited conversation. Higher-priced drudgebots are capable of performing complex tasks without direct human supervision. Robots are not “self-aware”, but the most sophisticated models can mimic human speech and behavior fairly convincingly.
In Earth's industrialized nations, robots are becoming increasingly popular as receptionists, waiters, security guards, etc. Unlike their human counterparts, robots never call in sick, ask for a raise or complain about working conditions.
Androids are highly sophisticated robots deliberately constructed to resemble humans in appearance and movement. They are among the most expensive robots, often costing $50,000 or more for a life-like “recreational android” such as Androbot's top-of-the-line “Friday” model. Click on the image at right to view a larger drawing of Friday showing her interior details. Friday “breathes”, blinks her eyes, has realistic flexible skin that is warm to the touch, and is "anatomically correct" down to her toenails. Older, less expensive androids typically resemble animated department store mannequins.
"Friday" android drawing by Free Trader.