Pleasure robotics: the past, present, and future of the sexual robots

We use to say that technology is at the service of humanity. Although this claim is not clear if we are talking about robotics to the extreme: that is to say, when there’s direct contact with robotics, the sexual encounter. If robots are created to satisfy our common needs, does sexuality also fit in here?

It isn’t something new

At all. When we consider inventions nowadays, we have to be particularly cautious and think that there’s always someone who’s done it before. And the creation of robots to satisfy our sexual pleasures is no exception.

It is well known that technology has been part of the sex industry for decades. There are exclusive gadgets aimed at quenching that first natural resource for the consolidation of our species that lately became an individual necessity and disconnected from procreation. But technological diversification is more than simple vibrators. The “full” robots, humanoid robots, are also available.

The seed of the sexual humanoids comes from nazism, although those were no proper robots. Apparently, SS chief Heinrich Himmler was in charge of the Borghild Field-Hygiene Project. The aim was to create “sex dolls” to stop the number of syphilis cases from their quick adventures of the soldiers with French prostitutes.

This project, labeled as Geheime Reichssache (something like “really top secret”), consisted in the creation of three sex doll models with different heights and breasts “round and plenty” by the SS, according to Arthur Rink, the sculptor. The contemporary actress Kathe von Nagy was asked if the doll could be modeled on her, but she refused.

The swinging 70s: something more than an approach

It wasn’t until the end of the 70s when the first approximation to a sex robot appeared with the 36C. It was an autonomous doll designed and created the extinct British company Sex Objects Ltd. It’s execution wasn’t as good as the initial idea, perhaps it was ahead of the state of the art back then.

C36 meant the bankruptcy* of the company, although not in vain. That machines based on a 16 bits microprocessor as a brain laid the foundations for a new android concept that will finally join robotics with the powerful and unstoppable sex industry.

Due to most robots having a female appearance, the term “gynoid” was created (that means, anthropomorphic robots with female features) against the term “android” that is strictly limited to humanoids with a masculine appearance (although is often used interchangeably). Most of it can be explained because of the context where these humanoids were born. Back then gender equality was still unthinkable.

Since the C36 some decades went by until an alternative could be created that fulfilled both the wishes of the designers and the possible users. There were even some ideas about artificial intelligence components. The key? Besides the technological evolution and the better materials, another field had to be considered: the feeling.

20th century: the age of sensors

We are so egocentric that we conceived the use of sensors unidirectionally. That is to say, for the artificial to act according to what it detects, a fingertip or an iris pattern. A stimulus is detected by a sensor (pressure, for example), and a sign is sent to the machine to proceed with a function and we can feel, in this case, pleasure.

But if the goal is a humanoid that not only relies on appearance but also responds to a reciprocity, it has also to be considered the other way around: a “sensation” has to be provoked on the robot as a consequence of an stimulus. How? By a mirror response, so that the robot looks like having pleasure. sensor at the service of the machine

This is, generally speaking, what Aiko was looking for, a project launched in Canadaconsisting on a female humanoid. The controversy arose as it comes with sensors on the nipples and “down there”*. As the creator himself, Dr. Te, claims, tried to respond to the critics:

Aiko can be used as an escort Aiko has sensibility sensors on the face and body, including the breasts and between the legs. It can differentiate between being caressed or being stimulated. I know that placing sensors in some private areas of Aiko has caused controversy. But I want to state clear that I’m not playing God here. I’m just an inventor, and I believe I am contributing to science.

Aiko didn’t go through the project phase due to lack of investment, but the robotics related with pleasure continued and evolved further than sensors. In 2011 Dr. Hooman Samani, director of AIART Lab (Taiwán) proposed the imitation of the human endocrine system, responsible for excitement and part of the emotions, with his projects Lovotics. Although it had an approach similar to a pet, and he didn’t technically clarify how would the endocrine system be imitated (as it has a very complex constitution and functioning).

Does a sex robot exist today?

Not yet. Those two concepts haven’t been conjoined; there’s no humanoid able to stimulate the user and, at the same time, emulate the feelings the sexual acts implies as an answer. But there are options and projects facing this sex android concept, from examples like Japanese fembots (available for rent), with artificial intelligence and a sophisticated humanoid look.

There’s yet no humanoid able to stimulate the user and, at the same time, emulate the feelings the sexual acts implies as an answer.

Perhaps the closest and most recent approach to the robot as a sexual partner (female) is the RealDoll. Its creator Matt McMullen has achieved the closest approximation to the real coitus, including the erogenous zones. As far as possible, the way of stimulating the machinery of the robots, which are also customizable (with a high price between 5,000and10,000).

McMullen claimed a couple of months ago in the New York Times that it’s in his plans to go further with the RealDolls. He wants to implement artificial intelligenceto achieve a scary realism that this robotics field wishes.

That thin line between passion and fear

McMullen, like everyone else looking for the ideal humanoid, has to deal with the issues proposed by Masahiro Mori in 1970. We recently talked about it at Xataka: sex robots should pass the uncanny valley test. The pupils could fail because of being too human.

The debate and the fear go way beyond the empathy’s sublimation that the sex act with a robot means.. It’s a challenge for the robotics expert and a new role for the society

But here both the debate and the fear go way beyond the empathy’s sublimation that the sex act with a robot means. A new challenge for the robotics expert (or for the eager businessman) translates into a new role in the society if it becomes a mass-product. Something that would arrive, whereas we are still digesting the new relationship levels as a result of social networks and messaging apps.

The advantages and disadvantages of the silicon sex partner

What could the fact of being able to substitute completely the human element in 50 % of the sexual encounter mean? At the moment, this is a utopian approach by itself. However, due to the actual state of the relationship concept and its apparent evolution in synergy with the technological development, the consequences have to be considered. That is to say, the actual possibility of the robot-human relationships, and the prompt and voluntary satisfaction of the human component.

Himmler’s very first notion of the Borghild dolls for the SS is brought back. One of the advantages he talks about is the reduction of prostitution and, for that matter, a drop in the STD cases. These approaches don’t stand up if the high prices of these humanoids are taken into account. Besides the fact that, just like every machine, they require maintenance, so that it would be key to stop the transmission of those diseases.

They are also foreseen in other fields like therapy or even didactic. What’s a better solution to the lack of company or the inexperience than a custom-made partner? A cultured robot (an extrapolation of the actual jokey Siri or Cortana), and that can be mechanically prepared to supply the sexual partner. It will be open season for psychological implications and for that human custom of going beyond the limits.

With the prediction of the robot-human relationships in 2025 to be a fact in the industry, new ethical approaches arise. One of them is how pathological behaviors like pedophilia could be fueled. According tothe claims of Ronald Arkin, roboticistat the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Do all roads lead to Eva?

The junction where technology, evolution, and humanity intersect is a goal of theory achievement. The idealized humanoid is a good image of that eternal ambition point. The irony of the only life beings with reason and learning by failure. Technology advances unlocking achievements and our minds seeing over new horizons, and apparently sex with robots is one of them.

The junction where technology, evolution, and humanity intersect is a goal of theory achievement. The idealized humanoid is a good image of that eternal ambition point.

The movies, that marvelous method of picturing dreams, is a referent of robots with their own gender and feelings that range from Priss Stratton in Blade Runner, fembots in Austin Powers and Jim Gigoloe in A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Humanoid images of the beauty canon that respond and move around like a human being. In some cases, they even replicate feelings of pleasure. Are we getting closer to that encounter with a happy ending and a sieve of feelings?

Both in the movies and in the science fiction literature that artificial “Eva” has been idealized. We can find one in Wall-E, we also have Ava in the recent film Ex Machina, and there are even the Japanese planned androids ADAM and EVA in the pieceSilicon Valley of the dolls by R. Forsyth. A robotic “Eva” that is both the realization of the custom-made partner and the origins of a new “species” and a new level of relationship.

Nevertheless, there is an annoyance in those approaches about robots with advanced artificial intelligence. With such intelligence, the android would have an intrinsic decision-making that could affect its performance that, essentially, is purely mechanical.

For the time being, we don’t know if McMullen will be able to achieve the ideal sex robot, whether he will fulfill his objectives of applying artificial intelligence or if there will also be a demand for “Adams”, as it doesn’t seem yet to be relevant for the industry. The main issue is whether, as the years go by sex with robots, just like online sex, will substitute natural sex, and if it will change the paradigm of relationships.

Buy yourself something-

Boys -

Girls -
Previous Post
Next Post
Related Posts