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‘Sex robot’ offers conversation, firm says

Associated Press / January 11, 2010

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LAS VEGAS - A New Jersey company says it has developed “the world’s first sex robot,’’ a life-size rubber doll that’s designed to engage the owner with conversation rather than lifelike movement.

At a demonstration at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas on Saturday, the dark-haired, negligee-clad robot said “I love holding hands with you’’ when it sensed that its creator touched its hand.

Another action, this one unprintable, elicited a different vocal response from Roxxxy the robot. The level of sophistication demonstrated was not beyond that of a child’s talking toy, but Roxxxy has a lot more brains than that; there’s a laptop connected to cables coming out of its back. It has sensors at strategic locations and can sense when it’s being moved. But it can’t move on its own, not even to turn its head or move its lips. The sound comes out of an internal loudspeaker.

Douglas Hines, founder of Lincoln Park, N.J.-based True Companion LLC, said Roxxxy can carry on simple conversations. The real aim, he said, is to make the doll someone the owner can talk to and relate to.

The phrases that were demonstrated were prerecorded, but the robot will also be able to synthesize phrases out of prerecorded words, Hines said. The laptop will receive updates over the Internet to expand the robot’s capabilities and vocabulary. Since Hines is a soccer fan, it can already discuss Manchester United. It snores, too.

Owners will also be able to select different personalities for Roxxxy, from “Wild Wendy’’ to “Frigid Farrah,’’ Hines said. He’s charging somewhere from $7,000 to $9,000 for the robot, including the laptop, and expects to start shipping in a few months.