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"SF looks towards an imaginary future, while fantasy, by and large, looks towards an imaginary past."
- Frederik Pohl

Robbie  
  A childcare robot.  

This is a very early reference to the idea of a robot as a childcare provider.

Robbie nodded his head - a small parallelepiped with rounded edges and corners attached to a similar but much larger parallelepiped that served as a torso by means of a short, flexible stalk - and obediently faced the tree. A thin metal film descended over his glowing eyes, and from within his body came a steady, resonant ticking.

"Don't peek now - and don't skip any numbers," warned Gloria, and scurried for cover.

With unvarying regularity seconds were ticked off, and at the hundredth, up went the eyelids and the glowing red of Robbie's eyes swept the prospect.

From Robbie, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Super Science Stories in 1940
Additional resources -

This story also emphasized the first of Asimov's famous laws of robotics.

Compare to Philip K. Dick's Nanny Robot, from a 1950's story collection.

See also the entry for psychophonic nurse from a 1928 story by David H. Keller.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Robbie
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Robbie
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Robbie-related news articles:
  - Asimov's First Law Of Robotics Real-Life Beta
  - Robot Designed To Break First Law - In Order To Save It

Articles related to Robotics
CyberOne Robot By Xiaomi vs. Optimus Robot By Tesla
Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA

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Science Fiction in the News

CyberOne Robot By Xiaomi vs. Optimus Robot By Tesla
'I shall introduce myself... I am a robot.'

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to 'help them out.'

'Ring Nation' Show Predicted By William Gibson In 1999
'... you had your trademark Lucky Dragon Global Interactive Video Column outside.'

SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.'

Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
'A robot may not injure a human being.'

Virtual Co-Embodyment - Two People Control One Virtual Body
'... we were supposed to be forming five unit composites first."

The Wanderer: Eyebot From Fallout, Eye From Zelazny
'We send our eyes on their appointed rounds, and they can hover or soar or back up...'

Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
'Light from the sun hit those little spheres and bounced.'

OrganEx Revives The Organs In Dead Pig
'Wakened into half-life activity one hour a month...'

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

More SF in the News

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