The company responsible for the lifelike, and expensive, sex doll line known as RealDoll recently announced a "robot" version of the doll equipped with an artificial intelligence-powered computerized "brain," with the name "Harmony." But Harmony, who has not yet hit the market, is a female robot, designed to be used by men, in a rather straightforward fashion. But Abyss Creations and its robotics arm Realbotix are now finding that creating a male counterpart for Harmony may not be as simple.
Matt McMullen, the co-founder of Abyss Creations, confirmed last week that his company was hard at work on a male sex robot to go along with Harmony and designed for use by women. In fact, McMullen told Britain's Daily Star newspaper the male robot's apparatus will function "better than a vibrator." In fact, McMullen claimed, by "plugging in" the male robot — which does not yet have a name — the artificial human will be able to perform "as long as you want."
"There's rebuilding that needs to happen on both fronts to create a male platform," McMullen said. "We're working hard on that and that's one of the next big things we're looking to get up and running."
But not all members of the male sex robot's target consumer base — women — have greeted the news with enthusiasm, saying that because the robot would be designed by a man, its functions would simply perpetuate stereotypical male perceptions about what women desire sexually.
"'As long as you want' is not the female definition of fantastic mind blowing sex," Cindy Gallop, the filmmaker behind the documentary Make Love Not Porn: The Social Sex Revolution, told the tech news site Motherboard. "That presumes that the only thing that represents great sex for women is jackhammering her for as long as you possibly can. F*** that s***."
But Gallop said that she is not opposed to the idea of a male sex robot designed for female use — she simply would rather the designer of the device be a woman herself.
"I would just love to see what a female concepted-and-built approach to male sex robots would look like," she said.
"Girl on the Net," who writes an anonymous blog about sexuality, also told the site that a male-designed sex robot for women was likely to hold little interest for many women.
"One of the main problems we're still grappling with in the sex space is the fact that for so long 'sex' has been defined by 'what straight guys think is hot,'" the blogger said. "There's a huge wide world of sexual desire out there which isn't reflected in mainstream porn and in sex robots."
The solution may be, according to one woman who has done serious research into the possibilities of sexual robotics, abandoning the human form entirely in the creation of robots. University of London computer scientist Kate Devlin told Motherboard in an earlier interview that an "abstract" design for future sex robots, for both men and women, would allow for a more fulfilling experience on the user's part.
"I am a strong advocate for moving away from realistic human forms for sex robots. I think there's going to be two lines of development: One is sex technology and sex toys, and the other is sex dolls," Devlin said, adding that she would like to see robot design follow the lead of female toy design which does not simply attempt to replicate male genitalia, but instead comes in a wide variety of shapes and colors.
The Abyss Creations robots are projected to retail for about $15,000 per unit.