Le Trung's Aiko female robot is no ordinary android; she (it) has attributes described in glowing terms by the Sun News:
SHE is the perfect wife, with the body of a Page 3 pin-up and housekeeping skills that put TV’s Kim and Aggie to shame.
Her name is Aiko, she can even read a map, and will never, ever, nag.
Devoted Aiko — “in her 20s” — has a stunning 32-23-33 figure, pretty face and shiny hair.
She is always happy to clean the house for “husband” Le, help with his accounts or get him a drink.
However, take a look at this interview video:
(Aiko robot video)
Aiko - Ai (love) plus ko (child) - has been programmed with a number of behaviors to check would-be suitors; she has been programmed to be the opposite of a sex robot. Despite the fact that she performs useful tasks, she adds "I am not your personal slave."
Once Aiko has been perfected, Le hopes to sell duplicates for use as "home-helps."
Home-helps? Maybe. SF writers have long warned about attachments to fembots. Consider the case of the mechanical bride, from Fritz Lieber's 1954 eponymous story:
Streamlined, smooth-working, absolutely noiseless, breath-takingly realistic. Each one is powered by thirty-seven midget electric motors, all completely noiseless, and is controlled by instructions, recorded on magnetic tape... The de luxe model is built to your specifications, has fifty different facial expressions...
(Read more about the mechanical bride)
Lester del Rey's short story Helen O'Loy is also a good example, and precedes Lieber's story by several decades, but I can't find a quote. Artificial or mechanical copies of human beings have been prominent in Greek and Finnish mythology, with many other references down to the present day. When we're actually trying to make them, with some chance of success.
From The Sun; thanks to Moira for pointing this one out.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/14/2008)