Sexbots are a thing, but they’re not much of a thing. Not yet, anyway.
Right now they’re nothing but glorified sex toys. However, Realbotix founder Matt McMullen wants to change that. His company is behind the Harmony sexbots that typically run between $10,000 and $20,000. Data is stored in an app that helps to build the robot’s personality.
Products like his are under fire from groups that argue he’s feeding the more animalistic lust of men. However, McMullen doesn’t seem to care. He’s trying to get a piece of the $40 billion sex tech industry, and to do that, Realbotix is working towards a sexbot with full mobility.
“We have designs for arms and hands, things like that,” he told the Daily Star. “But that will take significant testing, troubleshooting and finalizing of designs.”
“I suspect that the robotics portion of the body will be one of our big focuses in 2018.”
When asked how soon, McMullen offered a surprising answer. “I hate to put a date on something because it could be six months, it could be two years,” he told the Daily Star. “But for a commercially available animated body, I would say in the best case it’ll be ready by the end of 2018.”
Now, bear in mind that McMullen’s goal is to create robots similar to the replicants from Blade Runner. While it’s unlikely those will be ready next year, fully moving robots would be a major step forward. And not just for sexbots, either.
Human-looking androids have been the stuff of science fiction for years, but so far robots look like … well, robots. The closest we’ve seen are Honda’s ASIMO and Boston Dynamics’ Atlas. While there’s some cool technology there, it’s still a long way to C3P0, much less Pris from Blade Runner.
But technological innovation can come from virtually anywhere, and at the price tag the Harmony bots are commanding, it’s not difficult to imagine that the market demand for sexbots is what drives us closer to creating lifelike robots.
If it means that Rosie from The Jetsons is cooking dinner and handling all of our house chores sooner, who cares where the tech originates?