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"I was perfectly satisfied to write science fiction knowing that it would pay very little, that it would be seen by only a very few people."
- Isaac Asimov

Computer-Controlled House  
  A residence that is an autonomous robotic system.  

In the living room the voice-clock sang, "Tick-tock, seven o'clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o'clock!" as if it were afraid that nobody would. The morning house lay empty. The clock ticked on, repeating and repeating its sounds into the emptiness. Seven-nine, breakfast time, seven-nine! In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunnyside up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees and two cool glasses of milk.

"Today is August 4, 2026," said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling, "in the city of Allendale, California." It repeated the date three times for memory's sake. "Today is Mr. Featherstone's birthday. Today is the anniversary of Tilita's marriage. Insurance is payable, as are the water, gas and light bills.

Somewhere in the walls, relays clicked, memory tapes glided under electric eyes. Eight-one, tick-tock, eight-one o'clock, off to school, off to work, run, run, eight-one! But no doors slammed, no carpets took the soft tread of rubber heels. It was raining outside. The weather box on the front door sang quietly: "Rain, rain, go away; rubbers, raincoats for today..."

And the rain tapped on the empty house, echoing. Outside, the garage chimed and lifted its door to reveal the waiting car. After a long wait the door swung down again. At eight-thirty the eggs were shriveled and the toast was like stone. An aluminum wedge scraped them into the sink, where hot water whirled them down a metal throat which digested and flushed them away to the distant sea. The dirty dishes were dropped into a hot washer and emerged twinkling dry.

Nine-fifteen, sang the clock, time to clean. Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted. The rooms were acrawl with the small cleaning animals, all rubber and metal. They thudded against chairs, whirling their mustached runners, kneading the rug nap, sucking gently at hidden dust. Then, like mysterious invaders, they popped into their burrows. Their pink electric eyes faded. The house was clean.

From The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury.
Published by Various in 1950
Additional resources -

Another take on the idea of an electronic house "brain" can be found in The Angry House (1955) by Richard R. Smith.

The house's electronic brain glowed with an intangible thing that might have been pride.

It thought, I am content. I am content because there are so many things I can do to make them happy. I can cook their meals, make the beds, scrub my floors, wash my windows. I can bathe them, keep them warm, give them a gentle, cool breeze. If they want entertainment, I can rise hundreds of feet on my antigravity rays and give them a nice view. I can give them soft music, entertaining TV programs and pleasant surprises.

The house activated one of the many telescopic scanners on the roof and watched its owners as their car sped down the narrow road toward the city. It thought, They are so young, so nice, so kind to each other and myself. She speaks to me with affection and he spends many hours learning how I operate. She will love me and he will be proud of me and take good care of me. I am glad they own me!

It deactivated the scanner and from hidden closets, shiny machines quietly entered the many rooms. The tiny machines rolled on soft rubber wheels, floated on invisible antigravity rays and went about their many tasks. They sucked in dust and dirt, waxed the floors, washed the dishes. Behind the smooth gray walls, machines prepared the evening meal, checked the video schedule for the afternoon and selected recordings of soft music that the house's owners would enjoy.

Thanks to an anonymous reader for contributing this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Martian Chronicles
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Bradbury
  Tech news articles related to The Martian Chronicles
  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Bradbury

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