The narrator is Susan Calvin, who has worked at US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc for fifty years and has decided to explain her reasons for retiring.
She begins with the talking about Robbie, a robot nursemaid for Gloria. Gloria’s mother detests robots as do a large proportion of the community and as such she conspires to get rid of it. This makes Gloria sad and so to teach her that robots are not really human and therefore should not be considered as that, her parents take her to a factory where Robbie is working. Gloria tried to get to Robbie and puts herself in danger, thereby triggering Robbie to save her and causing everyone to appreciate robots.
The story then jumps to 2015 where Powell and Donovan have been stranded on Planet Mercury and need to fix their generator, but have a useless robot called Speedy at their aid. However, Speedy manages to come to their aid and everyone celebrates him.
Months later, Powell and Donovan want Cutie, another robot, to take over control of a section of the space station, where energy is beamed down to Earth. However, because Cutie is a robot, he has no belief in the existence of Earth, and therefore does not believe in the concept of it. However, eh believes in the concept of the power converter and as such begins to make it his idol of worship. Everyone accepts this since it is doing no harm.
Another few months later, Donovan and Powell are trying to help another robot, Dave, manage other robots as part f his job. However, Dave becomes scared leading people. Donovan and Powell therefore try to change this by shooting another Robot and getting Dave to save him. Everyone is pleased by Dave’s efforts.
In 2021, Herbie a robot is built with the ability to read minds. However, because the First Law of robots is to not hurt people, Herbie tells people what they want to hear to stop hurting them. People begin to get angry at robots.
In 2029, Susan is working on an anomaly robot who has been altered to avoid the Laws and is in hiding. He outsmarts them and almost gets away but is captured.
In 2032, Stephen Byerley is accused of being a robot and is tasked with disobeying the three Laws in order to prove he isn’t. He ends up hitting someone in the crowd, which proves he is human. However, Calvin believes he is a robot because robots can harm other robots, just not humans. However, no one contests this and Stephen is considered a human.
In 2052, robots are leaders of the world’s economy and have practically taken over.
The interview at the end notes that Calvin died in 2064 and nobody knows how she spent her retirement years.