How did Ted Lawson ever manage to requisition enough parts to build an entire working android without producing anything for his company to justify the expenditure?
- He didn't. It was explained in the first episode that he had taken VICI home because the project had been shut down before he even finished building the prototype. Presumably, the bosses saw how much was being spent, didn't think it was worth it, and shut him down before he actually got VICI working.
- For added Irony, Ted had probably gotten VICI to the stage she was at in the series premiere just as the company pulled the plug on the project.
Did anyone else wonder why no one In-Universe thought it was odd that Vicki was never seen eating and drinking, always talked in Robo Speak, was not enrolled in school in the earliest episodesnote and rarely was seen wearing anything other than the red pinafore dress during the first two seasons? Much of this was addressed in later seasons (partly to accommodate Tiffany Brissette entering puberty), but why Ted (being a robotics engineer) couldn't have either built this in from the start or applied those upgrades earlier than he did remains a mystery.
- It bears mentioning that a project like VICI requires not only good engineering, but money and other resources. My theory is that, as stated above, Ted had been able to get VICI to the point she was at in the series premiere using company funds and resources, but that management — seeing how much the project cost — pulled the plug just as Ted had reached a breakthrough. Ted then brought VICI home and put her together as-is, continually working on her and saving money to devise the necessary upgrades. Given that Ted was now dependent exclusively on his own funds and resources rather than being able to rely on company backing, as he had previously, it took considerably longer for him to develop the upgrades. As far as enrolling VICI in school, recall that A.I. Is a Crapshoot — albeit a Lighter and Softer version — is firmly in place, and Ted needed to make sure — before enrolling her in school — that his untested robot could handle school without making trouble or giving the game away.