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I need help in identifying an old-ish sci-fi book which I read in my college library a long time ago.

The story started building as follows -

There were robots which came from nowhere and started helping humans. They did everything considered risky for humans.

Because of this humans ran out all ways of feeling any kind of thrill and became very frustrated.

I don't remember the mid of the story.

There was a scientist who was explained to be of weak health and balding.

Later in the book due to extreme circumstances he was able to create physical things (a room which he remembered) simply by imagining them.

By the end it was mentioned that the scientist (sort of) didn't succeed in his mission of disabling the aforementioned robots and was nursed back to health by the same robots. He was surprised by how well he was nursed back to health and even his hairline was restored.

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    You say it was old-ish and you read it a long time ago, how old would it have been and when did you read it? You can edit your post to add that information in. – TheLethalCarrot Dec 2 at 12:37
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    I'll leave this as a comment - it's almost certainly not the story you're looking for, but it's another story that touches on a similar concept. Little Robot Lost by Asimov features a highly top-secret line of robots that were designed with a reduced importance of the First Law. They were testing radiation, and as soon as one of the lab techs tried to enter the testing chamber, a robot would race in and stop them fearing the human might be hurt. So they build some that wouldn't do that. One of the techs gets angry at one of the robots and tells it to "get lost"...which it does. – VBartilucci Dec 2 at 20:22
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Jack Williamson's With Folded Hands, published in 1947, later expanded to The Humanoids (1948) and the sequel The Humanoid Touch (1980) match.

Underhill, a seller of "Mechanicals" (unthinking robots that perform menial tasks) in the small town of Two Rivers, is startled to find a competitor's store on his way home. The competitors are not humans but are small black robots who appear more advanced than anything Underhill has encountered before. They describe themselves as "Humanoids".

Disturbed at his encounter, Underhill rushes home to discover that his wife has taken in a new lodger, a mysterious old man named Sledge. In the course of the next day, the new mechanicals have appeared everywhere in town. They state that they only follow the Prime Directive: "to serve and obey and guard men from harm". Offering their services free of charge, they replace humans as police officers, bank tellers, and more, and eventually drive Underhill out of business. Despite the Humanoids' benign appearance and mission, Underhill soon realizes that, in the name of their Prime Directive, the mechanicals have essentially taken over every aspect of human life. No humans may engage in any behavior that might endanger them, and every human action is carefully scrutinized. Suicide is prohibited. Humans who resist the Prime Directive are taken away and lobotomized, so that they may live happily under the direction of the humanoids.

Underhill learns that his lodger Sledge is the creator of the Humanoids and is on the run from them. Sledge explains that 60 years earlier he had discovered the force of "rhodomagnetics" on the planet Wing IV and that his discovery resulted in a war that destroyed his planet. In his grief, Sledge designed the humanoids to help humanity and be invulnerable to human exploitation. However, he eventually realized that they had instead taken control of humanity, in the name of their Prime Directive, to make humans happy.

The Humanoids are spreading out from Wing IV to every human occupied planet to implement their Prime Directive. Sledge and Underhill attempt to stop the humanoids by aiming a rhodomagnetic beam at Wing IV but fail. The humanoids take Sledge away for surgery. He returns with no memory of his prior life, stating that he is now happy under the humanoids' care. Underhill is driven home by the humanoids, sitting "with folded hands," as there is nothing left to do.

This would be a dupe of SF anthology story about mysterious android servants

Found by searching this site for robots prevent humans because I remembered this coming up before.

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    I honestly wish it hadn’t been expanded. It was perfect as a short story / novella. – Daniel B Dec 2 at 21:05
  • Rose-magnets or pink-magnets? That's an odd one. – hobbs Dec 2 at 22:27
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    @hobbs I took “rhodomagnetism” to mean the magnetism of rhodium, in contrast to that of iron. – Anton Sherwood Dec 3 at 1:44
  • It was also made into a radio show: oldtimeradiodownloads.com/sci-fi/dimension-x/… – MichaelF Dec 3 at 2:09
  • I didn't know it was a duplicate because I didn't know what to search for :) Thank you very much ! – user1046143 Dec 3 at 10:09
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/With_Folded_Hands sounds like it although the theme I think occurs in multiple places -- the various ideas about "Laws of Robotics" would have this kind of thing occurring.

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    Yeah, the basic theme of humans learning to play it safe because robots discourage anything risky, and the effects upon human society and progress, is one of the major themes across many of Asimov's robot stories, especially the Elijah Baley novels, and the related Inferno novels by Roger MacBride Allen. (Those don't match any of the details in the question, of course.) – gidds Dec 2 at 23:17
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    not learning but forced to play it safe. – releseabe Dec 3 at 1:56
  • Learning unconsciously, perhaps? – gidds Dec 3 at 2:50
  • Thank you :) Both the answers are right ! – user1046143 Dec 3 at 10:07

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