Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Robot Girlfriend!

Look at the picture. Just look at it.

So this is ROXXXY, the supposed robot girlfriend. I have to say, if looks are an issue for you... ROXXXY may be an issue. I can bitch about beauty standards all day long but any guy who could look into that scary plastic horse face and keep a boner has absolutely no business picking nits with any living woman.

One creepy detail the article doesn't mention and I did not make up: the creator modeled ROXXXY after a friend who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Wow. Wow. ....Wow. To everyone who reads this blog: if I am horribly murdered, please do not sell me or anything that looks like me for people to have sex with. Thank you.

"She can't vacuum, she can't cook but she can do almost anything else if you know what I mean,"
Oh, so she can go hiking with me? She can discuss the news with me and agree to disagree about Obama? She can help me move a couch? She can teach me how to make proper onion soup? She can trade backrubs?

I don't talk about my dildo saying "he can't change oil, he can't grill a steak but he can do almost anything else if you know what I mean," because he (ew, it, c'mon) can do one thing. Not badly, but let's not kid around. A "girlfriend" is a multifunctional person, and by that I don't mean anal and oral.

The anatomically-correct robot has an articulated skeleton that can move like a person but can't walk or independently move its limbs
So... not much like a person at all, really.

Robotic movement is built into "the three inputs" and a mechanical heart that powers a liquid cooling system.
By "robotic movement," I have a suspicion they mean "vibration." DECADES OF DEVELOPMENT.

And why the hell does it need a liquid cooling system if it doesn't move? I guess the market was just demanding a simulated sex partner who was really cold.

What do I really make of this thing?

Ample video exists of the guy talking about ROXXXY while she sits there completely dead, but there's none of her actually moving or talking. (Although SomethingAwful produced an excellent [and ridiculously offensive] educated guess about her various personalities.)

I think this is the doomed project of a guy who is creepy, yes, but more importantly he's way overambitious in his showing of an obviously unfinished product. Somehow that's even sadder to me than the whole "robot girlfriend" aspect--the fact that this guy clearly doesn't really know how to make his robot girlfriend, so all that he's showing the world is that he has a mostly unrealized dream of a robot girlfriend.

It's the same awkward feeling as reading someone's terrible unpublished novel, except in this case the novel is about their robot girlfriend with three motorized inputs.


  1. And I'll bet you he's already got a couple hundred orders with their 20% down deposit on the $10,000 beast already in the bank (just a guess on the price, I dont know if it's mentioned anywhere).

    The company that makes "realdolls" can't make them fast enough to fill demand, even though they keep raising their prices.

  2. Chris - Sex dolls always creep me out. A toy vagina, I understand that, it fills a mostly physical need. But building an entire body around that vagina suggests that an emotional need is in play here. That they're trying to simulate not just pleasurable stimulation but an entire person. And depending what they want to do with that person and why they couldn't do it with a human, that's either unspeakably sad or downright scary.

  3. I saw that and immediately thought of Mr. Universe from Firefly. As for liquid cooling, think computers. In this case, the cooling liquid is probably designed to keep the electronics comparitively cool and the other parts near-human temp.

  4. I tried to read the article, but got enraged on the first sentence.

    Nerds and geeks can breathe a sigh of relief


  5. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to stick with normal human girls for the foreseeable future...

  6. "One creepy detail the article doesn't mention and I did not make up: the creator modeled ROXXXY after a friend who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11."

    I'm afraid you did make up that creepy detail. The creator started out trying to do robotic memorials of real people's personalities and "After test marketing, the concept changed in order to capitalize on the enormous adult entertainment industry." I'd guess the creator found a use for a stunted sketch of a personality that would be an insult to a real person's memory but is still more than a RealDoll has.

    I love the idea of sexbots but we're a long way away from one that won't trigger necrophobia. They might be more successful trying to combine them with a pair of VR goggles and a sim something like 3D Sexvilla 2.

  7. First, I thought I had misread the name and that the robot "girlfriend" was named BOXXY.

    Second, I'll help you with my interpretations of the article's statements. :)

    "She can't vacuum, she can't cook but she can do almost anything else if you know what I mean,"

    Means: "A woman's job is to vacuum, cook, and be a passive fuck toy. That's all. (All that other stuff like hiking, reading, careers, is all women's lib's fault.) It, I mean she, is a fuck toy, and that covers the "anything else" a woman is good for, obviously."

    The anatomically-correct robot has an articulated skeleton that can move like a person but can't walk or independently move its limbs

    Means: The only way it moves is in fucking motions. Since it can't cook or clean yet fulfills the third woman-role of being a fucktoy, this means it does indeed "move like a person."

    And ew. I just figured out what the "three inputs" are.

  8. Ravenshrike - I doubt this thing has enough electronics to need heavy-duty cooling. Right now it looks like it doesn't have any, but the guy has really big plans for stuffing all kinds of cool hardware in there just as soon as he invents it.

    Mousie00 - Okay, so it's only the concept that's "inspired" by the 9/11 friend. I still think that's the sort of detail you shouldn't even mention at all if you're trying to get people in a sexy mood.

    Anonymous - Actually, I think "can move like a person" is even sadder than that; I think it means that it has joints so if you bend her arm for her, it'll bend. Just like a person's!

  9. Maybe these 2 should get together.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1238324/Robot-Romance-Inventor-Le-Trung-takes-fembot-girlfriend-Christmas-dinner.html

  10. I'm not sure if this is more or less creepy than a RealDoll. I watched an interview with the inventor and one of the "personalities" is Frigid Farrah. Inventor: "If I were to touch her somewhere that might be considered inappropriate that she doesn't like, she'll say 'Please don't touch me. ... What are you doing? Please don't do that.'" So, basically, perfect for fulfilling rape fantasies with a quadriplegic! Also, any woman who doesn't want to sleep with him is frigid and not just, you know, uninterested in him.

    And Vertel, I had the same reaction! I'm a nerd. My boyfriend's a nerd. We have fantastic nerd sex together! Sometimes after playing D&D! Shock of all shocks!

  11. Stephen - No one ever builds robot boyfriends. :( There's plenty of crazy lonely women out there, I don't mean to imply any superiority, but they seem less inclined toward robotics as an outlet. It's not as simple as "oh, women want to be loved, men just want to fuck," as the "companion" aspects of the fembots are being amply played up.

    Maybe it's that any woman who's seriously into robotics is probably into breaking stereotypes to begin with, whereas a lonely male who likes robots is shattering no one's paradigm.

    Mangosandlimes - I did wonder about "frigid" as a personality. I spent $7000 on my sexbot and it doesn't even want me? Rape fantasy does seem to be the only explanation. (Or maybe it's programmed to "slowly give in", or more likely planned to be programmed as again I really don't believe this guy's project is anywhere near ready for prime time.)

  12. Anyone else reminded of that episode of Buffy with the robot girlfriend? Surely, as a full-on utjob geek, this guy must have seen that. And instead of thinking "wow, that was really quite sad. Hope the roboteer learns his lesson" he settles on "holy shit, that Warren guy's onto something here!"


  13. They are actually making a male version of this - Rocky. The inventor mentioned it on the interview. Development is going even slower on Rocky, though, so expect him to be out in around 2021 instead of Roxxxy's probable 2020 debut.

  14. It's also not clear if Rocky will come with extra personalities like Aloof Alex, Old Oliver, and Young.

  15. When they figure out how to make one that reacts, responds, and performs like a real, horny woman, call me. Until then I'll pass.

  16. Holly...

    Creeps me out too honestly. On the one hand, if you're so introverted or paralyzed that this kind of thin helps you... OK, more power to it. Or if you need this sort of thing to help you get over whatever it is stopping you from relating to a real woman, again OK.

    But there's the iffy question where you have to ask, if your needs are so fucked up you need a doll to do them... Well, first of all you most likely don't, you're just ashamed or paralyzed with fear, or you're just asking the wrong women... because man, I know from experience, no matter how fucked up it is, there are women willing to go for it... but also ...

    Well, it's the same question about virtual child porn really...

    Is it better that they express their fantasies in this way, and release them thus improving their control; or does it simply encourage escalation of the fantasy into acting out on live people.

    Psychiatrists, sex therapists, and criminologists disagree on that one... and it really seems to depend on whether someone is a sociopath or not.

    If they are a sociopath and/or psychopath (not all sociopaths are psychopaths, but all psychopaths are sociopaths), then expressing their fantasies in such a way will merely escalate their need, and it will make them more likely to do it to an unwilling human being.

    Thus, Ted Bundy et al.

    If they are not a sociopath, then expressing their fantasies in such a way will help them deal with them, and either relieve the pressure, or help them redirect their fantasies into something they can actually do with a human being, and not harm them.

    Personally, I'm inclined to think that the truly fuckedup, and hard core kinky are not really going to be interested in such a thing. They either know that they can find willing parnters, or they are too repressed to even use a dol... Or they are going to become sex criminals...

    I'm guessing it's the shameful, repressed, and painfully introverted who will be the market for such things... and maybe it'll do them some good, or maybe it will be just another crutch that lets them sink deeper into their own neurosis... I dunno, but it's not my place to decide for them.

    In the final analysis, it comes down to "see a need, fill a need". If this guy thinks he's got enough of a market, with enough money, that they are willing to buy his products at a price he can make a decent profit on (and I think their probably is, if he can make it work, and market it properly)... More power to him I guess.

  17. At least one of the sex doll companies does male dolls, although they seem to be marketed to gay men rather than women. Choice of penis size, erectness and whether detachable or permanent.

  18. I'm not seeing any "scary plastic horse face" on this or any of those other mostly-human looking robots with silicone skin. (I'm not really thinking of sex toys, but other types of pseudo-human experiments like vocaloids.) Sure, they're a little bit off, but I don't see how it makes them scary or unattractive. Or for that matter, furries. Not really into that, but it doesn't bother me any. Or even people into sex with dolphins. Dolphins are intelligent, adventurous and are able to express consent. I understand there's creep factor with things like this, but not why it's common or where it comes from, because I don't share in it.

    A sex robot could serve a similar purpose to a prostitute - just sex with no emotional involvement whatsoever. Not really my thing, but there might be some people into that. Considering that a lot (but not all, obviously) of people who visit prostitutes are insensitive jerks or social basket cases who might harm real women (or men) even if they really don't mean to, it might serve a useful purpose there. And even for normal people, there's still a huge difference in terms of the experience between using a 150-lb sim-human and a 1-lb hand tool.

  19. Not Me - Oh come on. That face is not "a little bit off." That face is the thing of children's nightmares. And that's before you hear a robotically intoned "oh. yeah. you. are. a. stud." come out of it without the lips moving.

    I'm going to have to check under my bed for this thing before I can sleep tonight.

  20. "I still think that's the sort of detail you shouldn't even mention at all if you're trying to get people in a sexy mood."

    Absolutely. The reason I read that part so carefully was because it was so jarring.

  21. I'm sorry, but if you'll excuse a moment of slight jerkishness, I find responses like that to be hilarious. It really does seem only slightly off to me and not any cause for fear or alarm. That response is much like those people who are all "OMG I just saw a naked person who isn't an airbrushed supermodel, must wash eyes in boiling acid!" It seems utterly ridiculous, like being scared of flowers or something. Of course, I'm aware that no matter how ridiculous it seems to me, it's something real to other people, and my uncanny-valley-o-meter is probably broken or something.

    Hey, wanna know the face of my childhood nightmare? Ronald McDonald. Not because he was a clown, clowns aren't scary either, but because he represented something that I couldn't define at the time but would now describe as something like "forced conformation of/to bland mediocrity". It probably could have been any large corporation, organization, or government agency, really, but that was one of the very few I could put a face to back then.

  22. @ Not Me

    Please do not compare sex workers to lifeless sex dolls with no personality. Or, to our clients as insensitive jerks and basket cases.

    Your obvious lack of knowledge surrounding workers and clients in the sex industry is embarrassing and harmful.

    Whores have tons of personality, it's in the job description, I think you are confusing us with actual robots (cellphone customer service agents). Your assumption that we are like miss roxxxy plays into those old mythologies that you 'can't rape a prostitute', that we are not real women and are somewhat less than human...

    Also the vast majority of our clients are just regular... granted, sexually complicated, guys. Fathers, sons, boyfriends, your coworkers. They are not any more violent or unsettled that the regular male population (http://carnalnation.com/content/45526/897/study-suggests-few-johns-turn-violent)

    Please check your assumptions about sexworker's in the future.


  23. When I dream of having a robot girlfriend it really isn't anything like this. :-\

    However, that somethingawful video slays me.

  24. @ Lush: Perhaps I might be wrong about about the clients in general, but it would still be useful in the cases of people who are like that. And I am in no way comparing actual prostitutes to a "lifeless sex doll". Sure, robots like Roxxxy are barely above that level right now, but wouldn't the point of making them into *robots* be that they will eventually reach the point of *not* being *lifeless* dolls, sexual or otherwise?

  25. Yup, she looks dead alright. Eww! I mean, I've pretty much given up on ever again gettin nekkid with a live woman, but I would still prefer Rosy to Roxxxy.