"Hey, Shu, Stupid question - why aren't we sending a robot to do this job?"
"We don't have a robot."
"Yeah, but you used to work for U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc.right? And there are plenty of machines left lying around..."
"Where to begin - I wasn't a factory worker for one. We had machines for that - real surprise? Secondly, robots aren't built for this. Just like cybernetics - we built to minimum specifications. You don't build a surgery bot with the power to punch through a bank vault imagine what it could do if there was a problem during surgery? Durability doesn't pay either."
"Why not? Isn't the whole point of a robot being tougher and stronger than a human to do dangerous jobs. The surgery example makes plenty of sense - but military bots?"
"So you can make it three-hundred kilograms and able to resit mines -but hard to transport, or two kilos, and let it blow up itself and the mine each time. Giving each soldier five or six mouse-bots means they're more likely to get used - which translates into safer soldiers than ones relying on robot that isn't there. And of course, more replacement order for us."
"The old planned obsolescence ploy."
"Hardly that mercenary. But unless its an industrial welding arm, using steel when aluminum, zinc alloy, or polymer can do just as well is adding extra weight - which means a need for bigger motors, more power, more expense - aside from mine clearing units, our bots were built to last, just not to resist and overcome. So protection against emp level surges, collapsing buildings, wandering rubble, going without lubricants - you can find robots, but frankly, a mobile humanoid isn't that useful compared to how hard bipedalism is."
"Good news if they ever rebelled - hunh?"
"In most applications, we didn't need anything that smart. Really - does the pool boy need to be able to quote philosophy or just look good in shorts and ready for when the misses isn't around?"
"I didn't need to know that."