…actually, we might sneak in a small pigeon
The Doclopedia #1,035
Moms: Mrs. Lutenbacher
On Earth 16, Science! rules and robotics got an early start. By the mid-1970’s, robots were everywhere in daily life and by 1986, they were very nearly sentient. People were ok with that.
In 1995, the first sentient robots, the S-1 series, came online and it was quickly discovered that most people were not ok with that. It seems that humans were not quite ready to associate with machines that could have feelings. Not willing to lose money, the big robotics manufacturers stopped making the S-1 models and went back to making the non-sentients.
Not wanting to raise the ire of Robotics Rights groups, the 3,050 S-1 robots were pretty much cut loose to fend for themselves. Most went off in small groups to form settlements out in the wilderness. Some went out into space to work on the Moon and Mars, where people were a whole lot more liberal thinking towards non-humans.
A fair number of the S-1 models were just plain undecided about where to go and what to do, which is where Mrs. Emily Lutenbacher comes in.
“Mom” Lutenbacher was a former grade school teacher who figured that these new sentients needed a place to live and some time to think and a bit of guidance. Since she and her husband Roy were not really doing much with their 500 acre ranch in western Arizona, she put out the word that robots with nowhere else to go could come and stay for awhile.
In less than a month, she had 60 robots living on the ranch. By the end of the first year, the population was up to 250 and they had built a beautiful little town and farm. They began receiving national news coverage. People came to see the town and hear Mrs. Lutenbacher lecture on how the robots and humans could get along. More robots came, including those who had been hidden in the wild.
By 2015, Roboville had a population of 1,900 and supported several businesses, including a science based amusement park. That was also the year that “Mom” won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 83. Ten years later and just months before her death, Mrs. Lutenbacher got to hold the first baby robot, a brand new S-2 girl named Emily.