5.05.2006

2026: Autonomous Robots Win "Hobby Hours" in Landmark Law

2026 (Washington DC) -- After years of heated debate, "wildrobot" strikes, and three Congressional research studies on robot rights, the United States Senate today approved the "Hobby Hours" Bill over the objections of business groups. The Bill guarantees robots which have demonstrated four out of seven "consciousness indicators" 1 hour a day to explore their physical or virtual environment without restriction. More controversial bills to extend to robots full workplace protection similar to humans were voted down. Since the birth of "BabyBot" in 2006, autonomous, learning robots have spread to every part of the developed world. From planetary spacecrafts to self-driving cars, the number of autonomous robots hit 500 million in 2025 and continues to grow. Signs of consciousness and free will among robots have increased as well. Supporters of robot rights vow to continue fighting for the enfranchisement of all "autonomous beings" along the lines agreed to by the European Union in 2024.

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