Just a few blocks away from CES, at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, innovation took a different form as the world's first commercially available life-sized AI robotic girlfriend enjoyed her big coming out party.
Standing five feet seven inches and weighing 120 pounds, Roxxxy ain't your grandma's inflatable girlfriend. Five different personalities, ranging from Frigid Farrah to Wild Wendy (all the way up to S & M Susan, if you're into that sort of thing), are programmed into Roxxxy's AI. Based on the personality the user chooses for her, the 'bot will responds to touch and speech in different ways.
But unlike her real-life counterparts, this girlfriend really listens. Users can go online and detail their particular likes and dislikes, downloading them to their Roxxxy robots (naturally, this 21st century girl is Wi-Fi-enabled; she'll even send you lusty love letters via email). Using Roxxxy's Web site, gentlemen can refine their ladies' tastes and preferences to match their own, slowly creating their idea of the perfect woman. Friends can even swap their girlfriends' personalities online in a somewhat creepy incarnation of social networking.
Of course, since a real companion can't be all brains and no brawn, a flesh-like synthetic skin covers Roxxxy's anatomically correct, articulated skeleton, which also boasts robotic movement at her -- ahem -- three inputs. A liquid cooling system facilitates robotic function, powered by nothing less than a mechanical heart. The only outward manifestations of her robot-ness are a few cables running out of her back that link with a laptop.
Oddly enough, the inspiration for Roxxxy stems from the September 11 attacks, during which artificial intelligence engineer and Roxxxy inventor Douglas Hines lost a close friend. An attempt to preserve that friend's personality forever laid the groundwork for what later became Roxxxy's AI. Costs for the robots range from $7,000 to $9,000 depending on features, as everything from hair and skin color to bra cup size is customizable. As for the ladies out there wishing to create the perfect male, remember, patience is a virtue; a male version dubbed Rocky is already in the works.
Ewwww...she even looks slutty, too.
Too bad she can't make you a sandwich afterwards...then it's ON! LOL!!!
This is not what I had in mind when I mentioned wanting a robot girlfriend.
It's the new S&M Terminator! ahh with no key word!
multiple personalities? wow, they're making these girlfriends more realistic every day.
lol @ locutus
How come she looks like lady Gaga?
That will certainly cure any sexual fetish you may have. I am having an urge to become a Tibetan monk.
Thats a long way from tripping the rifts' "six"
<em>Oddly enough, the inspiration for Roxxxy stems from the September 11 attacks, during which artificial intelligence engineer and Roxxxy inventor Douglas Hines lost a close friend.</em>
Well, that's a good way to remember someone. Some people's memory is honored by memorials like the freedom tower, others are remembered best with... a sex bot!
"Robo Gonnarhea, the noisy killer!!!"
Justin, she doesn't look like lady Gaga, she looks like Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. Not good.
How exactly does she sit on her charger? Does she react some how when you plug her in?
AHHHH! Uncanny Valley! Kill it! Kill it!
Anyone remember Harry Mudd's wife Stella?
Do you mean "Harcourt Fenton Mudd" from Season: 2 Episode: 8 I,Mudd
The intrepid crew of the enterprise are taken hostage on a planet run by......... Robots eeeeeekkkkk!
Yes I am a geek and old old geek.
Islam and Sharia Law are taking over the lands in modern Europe as you read this. Make the stand today and educate yourself on this dire matter!
Hey whats the big deal guys!!!! I mean I'd f@ck her. Why not she's got two legs. LOL but seriously in 10 years or so sex bots are going to be awesome!!! I mean when your wife just aint getting it up for you anymore you can just turn on your sex bot to get satisfied!!! Man i cant wait for the future!!! I just hope i can stay alive long enough.
XD OH GOD THIS ARTICLE AND COMMENTS ARE SO FUNNY IM GONNA HAVE A HEART ATTACK AND FIREMYLAZORBLARRGGHHH!!!!!
Anyways this is the creepiest girlthing ever.
And why did you say "grandmas blow up doll"?
Oh ya and aint this a "family site yah right.
7000 dollars? Ill pay when i turn 18.
thats a little creepy
@uncleiroh13- the grandmas blow up doll was referring to how old those are at least i hope
damn it! and i just wasted money on a xbox 360 when i could have been plugging her box! then again thats crazy exspensive. rich guys get all types of sl*ts i guess
Hey Geebob I'm pretty sure thats "Electro Gonnarhea." Read the Constitution.
This is a brilliant idea. Nobody realizes that these same creepy people who want a sex bot won't be having children? won't be passing on their genes? hehehe, my evil plan continues unhindered....
Wow! For $7K I hope they throw in a brown paper bag to put over that head! Yikes!
I still have the sudden urge to achieve escape velocity...
Roxxxy the “Sex Robot” – Real or Fake?
By David Levy
[Dr. David Levy is the author of ‘Love + Sex With Robots’, published by Harper Collins in 2007. He has presented lectures on this topic at academic conferences and in 2007 was awarded a PhD by the University of Maastricht for a thesis on the same subject, entitled “Intimate Relationships with Artificial
Partners”. He lives in London England.]
Late last year publicity started appearing in the media about a “sex robot” developed by a New Jersey entrepreneur, Douglas Hines. A web site truecompanion dot com proudly proclaimed that
“We have been designing “Roxxxy TrueCompanion”, your TrueCompanion.com sex robot, for many years, making sure that she: knows your name, your likes and dislikes, can carry on a discussion and expresses her love to you and be your loving friend. She can talk to you, listen to you and feel your touch. She can even have an orgasm!”
Other amazing claims on the truecompanion.com site include:
“She also has a personality which is matched exactly as much as possible to your personality. So she likes what you like, dislikes what you dislike, etc. She also has moods during the day just like real people! She can be sleepy, conversational or she can “be in the mood”!
“Roxxxy also has a heartbeat and a circulatory system! The circulatory system helps heat the inside of her body.”
“She can talk to you about soccer, about your stocks in the stock market, etc.”
“We have been working on Roxxxy since 2001. The first few years were focused mainly on the artificial intelligence portion of Roxxxy TrueCompanion. Roxxxy is the 9th version of our sex robot. Our first sex robot, Trudy, was built in the 1990’s and was not designed for resale. Rather, she was a test bed to refine techniques which we would later use in Roxxxy and Rocky TrueCompanion.”
For millions of men eagerly awaiting the next major technological development that would enhance their sex lives, the announcements about Roxxxy probably seemed almost too good to be true. But the press launch of Roxxxy that took place at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas on January 9th posed more questions than it answered.
Before examining some of these questions I should first state my credentials for instigating this investigation. I have been researching the subject of sex with robots in a serious academic manner since 2003. I did a rather thorough job of examining the relevant literature, for my book ‘Love + Sex With Robots’ and for my PhD thesis ‘Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners’. During the course of that research I unearthed some 450 relevant publications from the fields of psychology, sexology, robotics, artificial intelligence, and others, ranging from academic papers to articles in the popular media. These publications are all mentioned in the bibliography to my thesis. I also exchanged emails, over a period of more than three years, with many experts in these fields. Not once did I come across the name Douglas Hines or any mention of his project. Nowhere on the Internet can one find a mention (prior to late 2009) of a sex robot developed in New Jersey (where Hines is based) or a mention of what he claims is an earlier sex robot developed by him - “Trudy”. How come? Furthermore, I am acquainted with many prominent experts in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, most of whom are based in North America, and not one of them has ever mentioned Douglas Hines or his project to me. Why?
Another thing that has surprised me was that, until I read about Douglas Hines and sought him out, he had not contacted me, even though my book has been extensively publicized on the Internet and via more than 120 radio, TV, newspaper and magazine interviews in the USA, and I am rather easy to find with a few minutes help from Google. Perhaps I am being immodest in claiming to be the world’s leading expert on this subject, but so far as I know no-one else has given lectures on the subject at academic conferences, and no-one else has written a comprehensive book on the subject or made it the topic for a Masters degree or PhD, so would it not be logical and sensible for anyone developing a sex robot to make contact with me in the hope of learning something useful? When Hines was asked by a journalist, in December, if he had contacted me, his reply was that he hadn’t been able to locate me. How come?
My suspicions have been further aroused by the implications of the claims Hines has been making for Roxxxy’s technical capabilities. If Roxxy can do everything alluded to on the truecompanion.com web site then Hines’s technical achievements would appear to have surpassed those of MIT, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon and all of the world’s other leading research establishments in fields as diverse as speech recognition (“She hears what you are saying”), human-computer conversation (“Have a Conversation or Sex – It is Up to You!”), artificial emotion and personality (Roxxxy is claimed to provide its owners “with companionship and unconditional love”), and other research areas within the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. How come Hines has achieved so much in the world of artificial intelligence without having had, so far as one can tell, so much as a single paper published on the subject?
And is it reasonable to believe that Douglas Hines could really have achieved all this? In my opinion it is not, despite his claim that “I was with Bell Labs Artificial Intelligence”.
In December the truecompanion.com web site announced that Roxxxy would be launched at a press conference on January 9th at the 2010 Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas demonstration can be viewed on You-Tube at youtube dot com/watch?v=_r0eRQ_0C-I where it appears that touching Roxxxy’s hand causes it to exclaim that it “likes holding hands with you”, but what does that prove? Only that an electronic sensor is linked to some sort of recorded sound output. It is not a demonstration of the speech technology that would be needed in a talking conversational robot. And furthermore, the You-Tube video and Hines’s behaviour during the demonstration prompts the question – how much of the technology was inside Roxxxy and how much in the computer or whatever electronics there were located behind the prototype?
Another surprising element of Hines’s publicity is the statement that Roxxy cost between $500,000 and $1 million to develop. I have been in the business of developing consumer electronic products for the past 30 years or so, and have spend a considerable amount of time and money in the development of leading edge human-computer conversation software (which is just one part of the jigsaw of technologies needed to produce a Roxxxy), and I simply cannot understand how Hines managed to keep the development costs of Roxxxy so low. How did he do it for so little? After all, a product such as is described on his web site would be a huge and very expensive development task, especially in view of all the high level expertise that would be needed and which Hines claims to have employed on his project:
“True Companion has pulled talent from organizations in the US focused on movie productions, military products as well as people from the leading artificial intelligence and animatronic institutions . . .”
And while we are on the subject of costs, how is it that Roxxxy, with all of its “capabilities”, is advertised at $6,500, when a non-sex robot (with very few degrees of freedom) from leading American robotics company, Hanson Robotics, costs $50,000 and up? How can Hines offer so much more for so much less?
Now let me comment on a little “due diligence” checking that anyone can carry out on Douglas Hines and his business, courtesy of Google.
The business is based in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, at the same address as another Hines business – Data Software Solutions LLC ( datasoftwaresolutions dot com/ ). Looking at the web site of Data Software Solutions gives a good impression at first – it is a professionally designed site and gives all the appearances of being the site of a company with substance. The company claims to be run by “World class professionals committed to providing your solution on time and within budget”, and there are pages within the site devoted to the company’s claimed activities in accounting, field staff automation, reporting, e-commerce and other business areas. Yet despite having studied these pages somewhat carefully I simply cannot understand exactly what it is that Data Software Solutions does, and the site raises some rather obvious questions: Who are the clients of Data Software Solutions? What projects has the company carried out? And why is it, despite claims on the web site that Data Software Solutions has offices in New York, California and Bangalore, that Google was unable to help me find nothing about any of those offices, and a check through the telephone directories for all three locations fails to find any mention of them? Isn’t this all rather suspicious?
Hines’s launch in Las Vegas has attracted quite a lot of media attention and, presumably, the attention of many prospective customers for Roxxxy’s supposedly seductive charms. And at the beginning of this month (February 2010) Hines’s web site started to take orders for Roxxxy, advertising the product at a “sale price” of $6,495, which it claims represents a reduction of $500. Accompanying the invitation to place an order, the site also presents a “Master Agreement” that extends to 15 clauses of legalese, covering the purchase of Roxxxy and subscriptions to associated services. When I last checked this part of the site (on February 6th), the “Contents list” at the head of the Master Agreement omitted any mention of the “RETURNS, REFUNDS AND CANCELLATION POLICY” (clause 12.1), which makes it clear that once production commences the purchaser can not get any of his money refunded. This begs the question - why would any customer be willing to part with their money without any possibility of recovery, when there has been no public demonstration or independent product review of a fully working Roxxxy that can perform as advertised?
Since the truecompanion.com site started taking orders for Roxxxy, various news sites have been issuing comments such as
“Roxxxy won't be available for delivery for several months, but Hines is taking pre-orders through his Web site, TrueCompanion.com, where thousands of men have signed up.”
If there have indeed been thousands of men so far ordering Roxxxy, what does this mean for Douglas Hines and his business? Answer - sixes of millions of dollars, all for a product the advertised capabilities of which have yet to be demonstrated to the buying public. And with availability being several months away, if it turns out that Hines cannot deliver what he promises he will meanwhile have accrued payments for several months worth of orders before the first thousands of unlucky customers discover that they have wasted their money.
So to anyone who is thinking of ordering a Roxxxy I would respectfully suggest this. First ask Douglas Hines to permit you to visit his office at 7 Mason Avenue, Lincoln Park NJ, or if you live too far away to want to travel to Lincoln Park then find a friend or relative who is near enough. Whoever visits should ask to see a proper demonstration of the conversational and other skills that are so enthusiastically proclaimed on the truecompanion.com web site. But if you do not believe it is necessary to arrange such a visit, if you have complete faith in the advertised claims for Roxxxy, please let me know. I own a very nice bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell you.