Sex & Relationships

'She Orgasms When You Touch Her': The World's First Sex Robot?

Sadly, humanity has reached 2010 without flying cars or personal-use jetpacks. But not without sex robots.

Sadly, humanity has reached 2010 without flying cars or personal-use jetpacks. But not without sex robots.

At AVN Media Network's recent Adult Entertainment Expo, Douglas Hines of True Companion announced the release of a digitally programmed robot that's like a real woman, only much better.

"She is anatomically consistent with a real person. She has three inputs, so …. what you can think of … for a woman … she can do," Hines assured the audience in a promotional video. "But she can do a little more than a woman. In all of her inputs, she has sensors that can sense when she's being touched." Hines proceeds to finger the spreadeagled bot, while it moans "Stop that. Oooooh!" in a voice that sounds like a cross between an answering service and a phone-sex operator.

Some other ways that Roxxxy is vastly superior to women: her outside comes in blonde, ginger and brunette. Her inside hosts five different awesome personalities, instead of a single boring one, including Frigid Farah, Mature Martha, Wild Wendy and S & M Susan.

"Wild Wendy is very aggressive," says Hines. "She loves to make a lot of noise…. For example, if I start making advances towards her, she says: 'Give it to me hard.'"

It's not just about the sex, though. According to the True Companion Web site, "She will also be able to talk, listen, carry on a conversation, feel your touch and be your true friend." (But it's also a lot about the sex: "She can also have an orgasm when you touch her!")

What’s more, Roxxxy can be customized to create a true emotional connection between sexbot and human. Users can either imbue their companions with entirely different personalities or build on existing ones. They can then hook Roxxxy into the True Companions Web site and share new features with other users—yet another characteristic sadly lacking in flesh-and-blood women.

According to Hines, the idea was conceived during a conversation about a friend who had passed away. "Wouldn't it be great if I could create a robot with artificial intelligence and have it hold someone's personality and preferences? This way, we could talk to the robotic version of that person and ask it questions whenever we wanted." (Just like talking to a dead friend, but also having sex with them by way of a 5-foot-7, 120-pound plastic doll that "has a full C cup and is ready for action.")

Realistic sex dolls were another inspiration. According to the site, people complained their sex dolls were too "catatonic." "They wanted to have their dolls become interactive and be their friends," Hines writes. One anonymous but enthusiastic customer quoted on the site says the dolls "are now brought to life!”

Noel Sharkey, professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield, says Roxxxy has a leg up on her sex doll ancestors because she has sensors that lead her to respond to touch. And while she leaves much to be desired in the realm of AI, she also shows potential.

"Robotically, Roxxxy seems to be very crude and basic compared to what could be done given the current state of the art," Sharkey wrote in an email exchange. "But then it only costs between seven and nine thousand dollars, which is not a lot in robot terms. Think what you could make for ninety thousand dollars. It is a start down the path of creating artifacts that can give a greater sensual experience by being interactive. Roxxxy is supposed to support conversation as well. I have not heard or seen the conversations, but this is an area of AI that is steadily improving."

True Companion's efforts to improve upon human women are hardly new. A staple of sci-fi, the fembot has also become a fixture of expos and some specialty markets (mostly in Japan). (This piece on Designboom.com gives a useful history.)  

In 2005, the world's first ballroom-dancing robot—resembling a giant, plastic Disney princess—made its debut at the World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. The Partner Ballroom Dance Robot (PBDR) is programmed to predict the steps of its human partner by reading body language. Professor Kazuhiro Kosuge, who helped develop PBDR, said one goal of developing robots responsive to human movement was to create caretakers for the infirm and elderly, but he said the technology was still a long way off, according to CNN. (Watch PBDR gracefully glide across the dance floor with her human partner here.)

The Actroid is even more charming. Introduced in 2003, it takes the form of a diminutive Japanese woman with a soft, lilting voice. The robot was developed by Osaka University and manufactured and distributed by Kokoro, and has gone through several iterations since its debut. The current Actroid, according to Kokoro's Web site, is, "elegant, feminine, and lively at all times." (Again! What an improvement over real women.)

She is also "very busy girl," according to the site. How does she occupy her time? In a full range of careers, including an information booth attendant, a "cute maid," a "reliable nurse" and a "graceful Japanese woman as a pro-Japan ambassador." Meanwhile, "Ms. Pilgrimage" goes on spiritual trips. For a good time, there's a "beautiful lady at bar being in attractive and sedate Chinese dress." Rentals are available.

Ever-1, an android developed by the Korean Institute for Industrial Technology (KITECH), has 15 facial monitors that allow it to interpret facial expressions—it can also hold a verbal exchange and express basic emotions. All this comes in the attractive, silicone-based package of a 20-year-old modeled on a composite of two Korean actresses and a singer. (The robots that come to rule over us with an iron fist will be really, really hot, at least.) Ever-2 can serenade you. 

Things get both sexier and more terrifying from there. On its Web site, the Beijing Yuanda Super Robot Technology company features a male and female robot: the latter is lithe, weirdly Caucasian and clad in a revealing satin number. The former appears to be a very disapproving Chinese general.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Also available, according to the site, is "a kind of simulated intelligent robot of person, it is the robot with image of actual person manufactured according to a specific person." The suggested model is "a Chinese or foreign great man well known by lots of people; a star singer, film star or sports star; a famous man engaging in science, culture or economy well known by everybody; a historic personality in China or foreign countries or a modern hero."

Then there is the Chinese opera robot. The company has created "a kind of simulated intelligent robot of person in drama with facial makeups in Beijing opera or other traditional opera mask, who can sing Beijing opera or other traditional opera."

And is there anything the world needs more urgently than a Ronald McDonald robot? Because also available is "a kind of robot for advertising of enterprise, it can introduce the product and service and conduct propaganda for the enterprise. For example, Haier brothers and McDonald's uncle, etc. can be made into robot that can perform and talk."

Meanwhile, Miss Rong Cheng can respond to 1,000 commands in Mandarin. She can also dance and greet people. Popular Mechanics quotes Yue Hongqian, one of the robot designers, bragging about her many charms: “We made her look like a smart and pretty girl. Our institute has been making great efforts in developing voice recognition system for many years. Now we use the voice recognition system on our robots. Meanwhile, the voice recognition function can make the communication between humans and robots more natural and personal, which highlights the progress we have achieved in making our robots more human-like."

Finally, there’s the Eternal Maiden Actualization (E.M.A.),released by Sega. While it looks like a storm trooper, it also has a "body that can move at the elbows, shoulders, waist and knees and is made to act like a 'real girlfriend.' E.M.A. can sing, dance and has a 'love' sensor for kissing," according to Designboom.com.

Unfortunately, E.M.A. doesn't seem primed for oral, vaginal and anal sex—something Roxxxy appears to have on most other fembots. Thus far, it seems Hines' valiant efforts to apply AI technology to robot sex are not as widespread in the robotics industry as one would think. So, for now those who can afford to spend thousands and thousands to have sex with a moving doll have limited options. Good thing Roxxxy is "Always Turned On and Ready to Talk or Play."

Tana Ganeva is an AlterNet editor. Follow her on Twitter.
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