The year is 2035. Detective Del Spooner is investigating the death of brilliant, eccentric scientist Dr. Alfred Lanning. Spooner is aided by psychologist Dr. Susan Calvin, and the death is initially labeled a suicide. Spooner, though, suspects that a robot may have perpetrated the crime. That seems unthinkable since robots are governed by The Three Laws of Robotics, which state that a robot may never harm or allow harm to come to a human being. As Spooner and Calvin investigate the death, they come to believe that a robot did, in fact, commit the crime. They are aided in their investigation by Dr. Lanning himself, who appears as a hologram, and reveals that he was working on a top secret project at the time of his death.