Are Robots the Future of the Sex Industry?

A recent German Exposition in Robotics highlighted how close we may be to having the technology for an android sex companion. On a darkly lit stage at the Expo, there were three life-sized robots mimicking sultry and seductive gyrations typically associated with the performance of female strippers. Although the movements were quite realistic, the robots themselves were coldly mechanical. The robots had large track lights for heads, with no faces, and were not physically appealing.

Movies and science-fiction literature have contained portrayals of sexy and seductive fembots that could move any man to distraction, but the grinding giant desk lamps at the German Robot Expo seemed more amusing oddity than new age Mata Hari. However, there was a 2012 research paper that suggested the viability of sex androids, or sexbots, populating red light districts as soon as 2050. From a practical and social perspective, the use of sexbots in a legal sex trade could resolve current problems such as sexually transmitted deceases and human trafficking associated with “the world’s oldest profession.” But before that happens, more human realism will have to be incorporated into the current robot technology.

The future of the sex industry will undoubtedly require robotics to bring virtual sex reality into actual physical reality. However, currently that future prospect remains firmly rooted in science fiction rather than robotic fact. Given the lack of human sensuality exuding by the robots at the German Expo, it will certainly be sometime before we see android escorts in Vegas or robot strippers in Amsterdam.