California-based company Realbotix has announced it will release a talking, fully functional male sexbot this year.
Realbotix is led by Matt McMullen, the man behind Harmony, the talking female sexbot launched last year.
The company is a division of RealDoll, a market leader in the sex doll industry that has been making male and female dolls for 20 years.
But with recent advances in AI, McMullen believes it’s time to give these dolls some life.
McMullen calls dolls and sexbots “companions” and doesn’t see anything wrong with them. The obvious critique is that they objectify women (men not so much, doll sales skew heavily towards female dolls) and encourage people to seek out non-human relationships.
The Australian Financial Review reports that RealDoll has sold about 8,000 dolls to date. Buyers can choose from multiple body, face and skin tones to build the “perfect” “partner”.
Harmony, which goes for around AU $19,000, has artificial intelligence which pairs with an app and gives her a “personality”.
Think Siri in a doll and you are getting close.
Harmony can learn and store information about a customer’s desires and preferences. I’m sure she’d rather forget. She can also be assigned traits, much like the robots in Westworld (but far less sophisticated).
Engadget’s editor-in-chief Christopher Trout took a tour of Realbotix, and you can see his meeting with Harmony here (NSFW, duh):
“We’re working on a male version of the robot AI,” McCullen said.
“We’ll eventually have a male and a female platform available.”
McCullen also revealed he already has the blueprints for a bionic dong in the works.
The sex robot revolution – long fantasised in science fiction – appears to be coming.
A recent study by internet-based market research firm YouGov found that 9% of women polled would consider having sex with a robot as opposed to 24% of men. 49% of American adults believe that having sex with robots will be common practice in the next 50 years.
If the AI were to get better – let’s say to the point of consciousness – then the bots may decide they’ve had enough. We’d also have to start giving them rights, which I’m sure is McCullen and his creepy customers’ worst nightmare.