Gretta at the Electromagnetic Research Archive Machine. It looks almost like a computer, but it is actually a separate object without any overlap in the menues. Also, it costs like §12000, so families without a Dragonfruit garden may prefer to use the one in the university library instead.
Gretta is in her late teens and preparing for university. One new skill that came with this expansion (but can be used everywhere) is "Research and debate". It is not cheatlike on "Realm of Magic" level, but still pretty habit-forming.
By rights this should have been two separate skills. Maybe EA were just lazy, or maybe they had to rush it out the door and did not have time to fill out two skill trees with meaningful effects. It is a rather odd combination, but it is the research part that is most useful, at least in my eyes.
With increasing level, it cuts down on the time it takes to do homework and term papers. To be honest I don't think this applies to teen homework, at least I can't notice the difference there so far. A bit sad since they used to dominate the homework as kids, but hey, it is part of a university pack so there is that.
The other effect increases the speed of reading books, and at level 8 it also increases skilling speed from reading skill books.
Not that I need that part at home, now that I have discovered house traits. Turns out you can add traits to even rural houses by pressing F2 and clicking in the upper left corner. Two realistic traits for this home are Homey and Peace and Quiet, considering that they live in the outskirts of a village with 10 inhabitants. Peace an Quiet (from Jungle Adventure) increases reading skill learning from reading, and Homey increases the speed of learning "home" skills like Handiness, Gardening and Cooking, supposedly also mixology. Here, she was studying gardening at a remarkable speed.
I wonder if the skilling speed increase in Research stacks with Peace and Quiet, or whether (lazy when possible) EA just copied the lot trait to a skill trait. Gretta hasn't reached level 8 in research yet, and it can be hard to test since skilling speed varies with the level of the skill.
I suppose if I wait long enough, the answer will eventually appear in Carl's Sims Guide. It is kind of weird to be ahead of him. Well, in some things. Not in robotics.
Katinka: "You don't need to bang on this workstation to make a new family member, you know. We're still of fertile age, so we could go bang somewhere else..."
But that wouldn't make servos. Besides, I've had enough of raising toddlers for a while. Maybe when Amanda moves out.
Although with the immense amount of parts, including crafted parts, that goes into a Servo, it may actually be more expensive, and I am not sure how much faster it is than raising a kid...