In this settings, robots are a humanoid looking personal device that try to mimic the owners traits and behavior, even though they 'realize' they are not their owner, but rather a helping robot. The robots are mostly self sufficient but rely on a bit of solar power. Robots that need repair due to wear is rare. Accidents require a visit to the repair shop, and happen from time to time. The robot body isn't made from fancy unobtanium, but plain steel, copper, titanium and other common metals, so it is vulnerable to impact, hot fires, etc... Functional components are made from more precious materials. The lubricants are patented and of quite high tech, making it possible for the robot to move relatively smoothly and human-like. Their appearance is far from unique when they exit the factory, but is usually customised by their owners. They can lift about about 100kg-150kg for a short time depending on the shape of the object. The robots will only obey their owner untill relieved from serving and are programmed to maintain their own body, just like a human would do.
However, every 20 years a new better version is released and the old robots are redundant. It is actually forbidden to own more than one robot. In the past robots would be recycled by upgrading them for the next generation of robots 20 years later, but since the 'Save Robots Act' (SRA) it is not allowed to recycle robots that are still functional. Because they still behave so much like their (now former) owner. People got attached to the robots and began to protest against recycling 'perfectly fine' robots.
Humans have three options when a new robot is released:
DitchSay goodbye to their current robot
- Replace their current with a new version
- Keep their old version
In the first two cases the robot either gets recycled if it isn't functioning any more, or needs a place to be a happy robot (kind of retirement).
The goverments have decided to move all functioning robots to a very large desert like plain, with a few small forests on hill like country, which has roughly the size Austria. There are also a few rivers in this area.
The robots for some reason decided to settle and build shelters/houses around the rivers even though they don't need water or food. It is actually pretty bad for the robot if they would take a swim! Their electronics will probably short circuit if sub-merged, and 'kill' the robot. Also once a year some rivers tend to flood out of their regular boundaries, placing the robot cities in a layer of water of 10-50cm. Robots that stop functioning will be brought to a robot graveyard where they will be gathered for recycling. The robots have a lot of time on their hands and don't mind walking for days to find something they are searching for.
Their mindset is to serve and take orders, not to rebel or overcome and dominate others. Because they lack an owner they don't have a solid goal or mission to fullfill and will just wander around doing stuff to maintain themselves.
Some background info on why I need them to settle near the rivers: The company producing the robots got a pretty financial blow due to SRA and wants to secretly use the river to destroy robots by the bushels so they can be recycled again. Audits by the goverment check the software to make sure each function has a functional reason in the software! So no
if (Retirement()) then DiveIntoNearestWater() else Serve(). Retirement is there for the robots because that is what humans would do when they stop serving society.
Why would these robots settle near rivers even though there are so many disadvantages.
UPDATE: I put some more restrictions on the behaviour of the robots and made sure the obvious 'Because they were told to do so' scenarios aren't any good.