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"Science fiction and science have always danced around each other. Science fiction is the subconscious of science."
- Greg Bear

Helen O'Loy  
  A robot is enhanced to offer feelings and affection.  

An ordinary household robot is modified for better performance, but for the final product, an upgraded model works best.

The Dillard people had performed a miracle and put all the works in a girl-modeled case. Even the plastic and rubberite face was designed for flexibility to express emotions, and she was complete with tear glands and taste buds, ready to simulate every human action, from breathing to pulling hair...

I'd performed plenty of delicate operations on living tissues, and some of them had been tricky, but I still felt like a premed student as we opened the front plate of her torso, and began to sever the leads of her "nerves." Dave's mechanical glands were all prepared, complex little bundles of pansistors and wires that heterodyned on the electrical thought impulses and distorted them as adrenalin distorts the reaction of human minds.

Instead of sleeping that night, we pored over the schematic diagrams of her structures, tracing the complex thought mazes of her wiring, severing the leaders, implanting the heterones, as Dave called them. And while we worked, a mechanical tape fed carefully prepared thoughts of consciousness and awareness of life and feeling into an auxiliary memory coil. Dave believed in leaving nothing to chance.

From Helen O'Loy, by Lester del Rey.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1938
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