This is the State of the Sex Robot Market
Is there more to robot sex than Roxxxy?
Recently we had a reader write in to ask about developments in “bringing sex robots to market”. He wanted to know whether there were any budding companies out there that might deliver in ways True Companion, creators of the most notorious sex robot, Roxxxy, had not. We figured we’d share our response with everyone.
As far as we know, there aren’t too many companies working on this stuff. We do keep reviews and product overviews of sexbots in our Bizarre Bazaar section [NSFW], but here is a quick primer on what’s available:
While Andry Droid doesn’t have an artificial intelligence (AI) engine, she does boast a pulse as well as a heartbeat.
As mentioned, True Companion is the team behind Roxxxy, the sex robot that brought media attention to sex robots. Roxxxy does boast AI capability and an impressive synthetic skin.
Sex Bots are life-size robotic companions, activated by touch or remote control. They have a line of bots available, with a few interesting options thrown in (Unisex, for example).
However, the robots mentioned above are all reasonably similar–they bear a human appearance, are capable of limited interaction, and boast no mobility–so if you’re not impressed with Roxxxy then it’s unlikely they’ll blow you away.
That’s not really the shape of the potential market, though. What’s more telling than those obvious selections is the relevant headway being made in robotics generally. There are people out there advancing all the components a working sex bot would need, but they’re doing it separately. Here’s an overview of some of the pertinent movements in robotics:
We have already seen the readiness with which humans will attach themselves emotionally to robots. Whether you’re looking at Paro, the robot used to help patients with Alzheimer’s; ZYSDF, the robot used to collect donations from people on the street; or Tweenbots, the cute robots that rely on human interaction to get where they’re going, what we’re seeing is that it is incredibly easy for humans to open their hearts to robots. Currently, there are people like Heather at MarilynMonrobot.com and Martin Saerbeck trying to create robot personalities, which will be a vital feature for robot companions.
Looking past the bots that are strictly developed for sex, there is lots being done to achieve realistic, human-esque robots. We’re not just talking about fembots like Aiko, either. The Geminoid-DK models are incredibly lifelike, and will no doubt spawn more of the same. See the video below for proof of just how uncanny the likeness to human features and movements can be.
As well as advances in the exoskeletons of robots, we are seeing the evolution of their control systems. What was once limited to a set-up of master/slave hardware, is now possible through full body motion-capture systems. You can see an example of Taylor Veltrop’s hybrid Kinect/Wii robot control system below.
When you throw all that together, you arrive at a robot that looks like a human, behaves like a human and can be controlled in any number of ways. It won’t take long for that same robot to be adapted to suit the very human needs of the libido.