"Relationship Organizational Managers, or ROMs for short, are the commonplace companion and tool of any modern person"
A ROM is the general term for any number of advanced robotic assistants used for various purposes in the future. In their most general forms, ROMs serve as advanced notification systems, personal assistants, and portable MeshNet access points. However, specialized ROMs exist for almost every field, serving as receptionists, law enforcement aids, maids, camera people, maintenance workers, and even professional sports competitors.
While robots in a service role had existed since the turn of the 21st century, ROMs combine advanced hardware with Parallax's proprietary LIPS operating system, allowing them access to the MeshNet, and powerful, cloud based heuristic learning algorithms. Even the simplest floor cleaning ROM is able to react to events from across the mesh, and by gleaning information from users in its environment, adjust its behavior on the fly to provide the best service possible.
Many ROMs are only capable of simple interactions, but many are highly-advanced expert systems, capable of simulating true thought, emotion, and insight. ROMs designed to look and act like animals have been an exceedingly popular, if expensive, alternative to traditional pets, while the service industry has been heavily supplanted by highly conversational and knowledgable robotic replacements.
While most ROMs are designed to be friendly to their owners and non-destructive, there have been numerous incidents where faulty programming, or conflicting priorities, have led ROMs to behave strangely. Parallax officials refuse to comment on these "rumors".