[Ed. – Inflatable dolls unavailable for comment.]
Californian researchers have established that an intimate caress of a humanoid robot can produce a physiological response in a human.
They challenged volunteers with a robotic creature less than two feet high that possessed eyes, ears, torso, legs, arms and a voice – and a chat-up line rich in come-hither invitations. “Sometimes I’ll ask you to touch my body and sometimes I’ll ask you to point to my body,” it told volunteers.
It was found that a touch where the robot’s buttocks or genitals would be produced a measurable response of arousal in the volunteer human, the scientists report.
“Our work shows that robots are a new form of media that is particularly powerful. It shows that people respond to robots in a primitive, social way,” said Jamy Li, a mechanical engineer at Stanford University in California, who led the study. “Social conventions regarding touching someone else’s private parts apply to a robot’s body parts as well. The research has implications for both robot design and the theory of artificial systems.”