Just had a memory of a short story pop into my head that I read in the late 80's/early 90's. It was to do with androids or robots hired to either help out around the house or be a companion to a child (not sure which). The robots were colour coded based on their expense and abilities and the story in question kept requiring them to be upgraded. It may have been a story aimed at teenagers, not sure. Any thoughts?

  • Were the colors given a meaning in the story, or was that just background information? – FuzzyBoots Oct 6 '16 at 20:24
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    The colours graded the robots. So let's say Green was the economy model, Yellow the standard, Blue the upgraded version, Red the deluxe. That kind of thing (those colours are not the correct order). I'm also now pretty sure the robots were designed specifically as companions for children. – Liam Oct 6 '16 at 21:13
  • The title mentioning upgrades reminded me of Robots, but that's too new, a movie and doesn't involve any humans... – Zommuter Oct 7 '16 at 12:46

It could be Nanny by Phillip K. Dick. There is only mention of robot paint colors, but a central element of the plot is the arms race-like need to always have the latest and most powerful nanny. Also the nannies help out with the housework and take care of the children.

From the synopsis in the above link:

The Nanny gets damaged and must be repaired, which frustrates the family, as they're advised to upgrade to a newer model.

  • You can read the story at archive.org (click here for download options). – user14111 Oct 8 '16 at 5:12
  • Just read a few synopses of Nanny and I think that's it, thanks! – Liam Oct 8 '16 at 6:43

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