Instead of launching yet another survey of robots in fiction and folklore, Milton begins this easy introduction by announcing her intention to deal with ""real robots,"" then shows us some of the mechanical toys, automatons, and androids that preceded them. Toy robots still far outnumber working ones, says Milton, but robots do have current and potential uses in factories, hospitals, farms, schools, and in space--and their conformity to the human form is not just a gimmick. Their practical use as household servants is unlikely, although some robot servants do exist just for their owner-inventors' entertainment. With some speculation on robot pets and references to worker robots who are ""ugly"" but ""smart,"" this is not geared to serious readers with any interest in how robots work: Though Milton points out that the difference between mechanical models and robots is the latter's electronic brains, she never explains how such brains work and in fact uses the terms ""electronic"" and ""computer"" only once or twice, in passing. As a casual-interest-catcher, though, this moves swiftly and easily through a diverting range of curiosities and possibilities; and it's generously illustrated with a lively variety of photos, old prints, and cartoons.