Rando Calrissian edited the summary of Bicentennial Man and Other Stories Friday, March 5, 2010.
In the twenty-first century the creation of the positronic brain leads to the development of robot laborers and revolutionizes life on Earth. But to the Martin family, their household robot NDR-114 is more than a mechanical servant. "Andrew" has become a trusted friend, a confidant, and a member of the Martin family.
The story is told from the perspective of Andrew (later known as Andrew Martin), an NDR-series robot owned by the Martin family, a departure from the usual practice by U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men of leasing robots.
Andrew's initial experiences with the Martin family are replete with awkward moments which demonstrate his lack of socialization. However, he is much better with inanimate objects and animals and begins to display sapient characteristics (such as creativity; emotion; self-awareness) traditionally the province of humans. He is taken off his mundane household duties, for which he was intended, and allowed to pursue his creativity, making a fortune by selling his creations.
Andrew seeks legal protection stemming from his initial creative output and eventual full recognition as a human, by gradually replacing his robotic components with organic ones, and citing the process as a transformation from robot to human. Succeeding generations of the Martin family assist him in his quest for humanity, but each is limited to what degree they are prepared to acknowledge. Only when Andrew allows his positronic brain to "decay", thereby willfully abandoning his immortality, is he finally accepted as a human being. This event takes place on the two-hundredth anniversary of the start of his organic conversion, hence the title.