The Inventor is an eccentric old man who lives in a Gothic castle on the edge of a suburban housing development. He enjoys inventing whimsical cooking and baking robots. One day while inspecting one of his robots, designed to cut food with long, scissor-like fingers, he envisions a new robot which he will create in stages, until finally it comes to resemble a complete human being. He names this new robot Edward and attempts to teach him how to be human. But before he can bestow Edward with his final gift -- a pair of realistic human hands -- the Inventor suffers a fatal heart attack and dies, leaving Edward unfinished. Having no other family or friends, Edward remains alone in the castle until local Avon lady Peg Boggs knocks on the door and finds him there.