Pic of the day: No, it is not his. Thank goodness.
Sims2 OFB: Robots
Apart from starting your own business, the big deal about the latest expansion pack for The Sims 2 is probably the return of Servo. From the original game, Servo the household robot was one of the most popular features, introduced in an early expansion to make life easier for the Sims. He would clean, repair, garden, even serve cheap food if asked. The Servo was however so expensive, you had to play a while before you could afford him.
It is the same now, only much worse. You see, you can't buy Servo from the electronics section in Buy Mode. You can't even buy him (or her) in one of the shops. You have to make him. Well, actually one of your Sims has to make him. The rest of your Sims can then buy their Servo at that shop. But to make a Servo you need the Gold badge in robotics.
Did I mention the Bronze, Silver and Gold badges? No? When you do some business-oriented task often enough, like selling or restocking or manning the cash register, you get a Bronze badge and can do it better (mostly faster). When you do it much more, you get a Silver badge. When you've done it for quite a while, you get the Gold badge, and then you are as good as you can expect to be. With robots, you have to start by making toy robots. At Bronze you can start making two other robots, one that waters your plants and one that cleans your house. (Although it can't reach up on tables, so it is somewhat limited.) Next at Silver, you can build a flying guard robot to chase burglars, and a robot that will fly off and buy snacks for you. I really can't imagine why anyone would want that, but that's what the description says. Each level of robot takes longer to make, and is more expensive. (But you also can sell it for more, so the pay per hour is no worse, possibly better.)
Once you have made a Servo, which is likely to take a couple work days, you can put it in your inventory and take him home, or sell him. This is how other families acquire theirs: Your robot-making Sim puts Servo on display, you save the game, go to the household that needs a Servo, and drive off to the shop. There you hurry over and buy Servo before anyone else gets to him.
Or her. When you get home, one of your Sims can activate Servo, and at that point you can choose Servo's gender. Servo is still a metallic robot, so don't expect it to become overly curvaceous just because you assign it a female gender. Nor does it affect which bathroom it uses, because robots don't use bathrooms. They can however flirt, fall in love and woohoo in bed. o_O
Unlike the first game, this Servo has an artificial intelligence similar to a Sim. It is not just a household tool. It has human emotions and some needs, although it has no bladder and experiences no discomfort. Nor does it need to eat or sleep, but can instead recharge in the sun a couple hours each day. It does however have wishes, and will on its own do some of the things Sims do. Its wishes depends on its personality and aspiration. This is by and large copied from whoever activates it. It also inherits most of its skills from that person, so you may want to make one of your most skilled Sims activate your Servo. I have an idea for a neighborhood where old people buy a Servo shortly before they are to die from old age, and then copy their personality into it. I call it a "Kurzweilian society", after the successful inventor who believes that during his lifetime, humans will be able to upload their brain to a computer. (I guess even an atheist needs a hope.)
Servo does not grow old. Servo can emulate the marital arts, but cannot have children. (It will take care of other people's children, though.) The robot does have a weakness though, and one more common than kryptonite: Water. Even a small amount of water, like cleaning the shower, may short-circuit it. This not only drains it of energy and all other motives, but leaves it vulnerable to madness when it recovers. A rampaging robot can seriously injure or even kill other Sims. This is a pretty good reason to keep an eye on it. Or to avoid it altogether. To make things worse, fairly often through the workday the robots will on their own decide to "do chores", such as cleaning and repairing. Unless you keep your bathrooms clean and in good repair, Servo will go there at some point. So, as I see it, Servo is just not worth it in this game. Instead, download the all-in-one NPC from Mod The Sims 2, and pay him a fair wage to take care of your house for you. At least he won't kill you.
Still, Servo is an experience not to be missed if you have Open for Business. I just doubt you will want to keep him.
EDIT: Problem solved! Waterproof Servo!
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.