Researchers at California's Stanford University recently found that humans can be aroused by touching a robot's buttocks or genitals (video below).
The small Aldebaran Robotics Nao robot told four female and six male volunteers in the study, "Sometimes I’ll ask you to touch my body and sometimes I’ll ask you to point to my body," reports The Guardian.
The volunteers wore a sensor on one of their hands that measured skin conductance, which indicates physiological arousal, when they touched the robot.
Over the course of 26 trials, the study found that the volunteers had a stronger response when they touched the robot's "body parts with low accessibility" compared to when they touched its hands or feet.
"Our work shows that robots are a new form of media that is particularly powerful," Jamy Li, a mechanical engineer who led the study, stated. "It shows that people respond to robots in a primitive, social way."
“Social conventions regarding touching someone else’s private parts apply to a robot’s body parts as well," Li added. "The research has implications for both robot design and the theory of artificial systems."
The researchers concluded: "In future, robots with human forms may assist us in personal and public spaces. What kinds of relationships will people develop with these robots? While they are clearly not human, social conventions such as body accessibility may apply to robots as well."
Some men are already on their way to that type of future right now. They are having sex with a new bodysuit that is loaded with sensors.
Using a headset, the Illusion VR allows users to experience a virtual reality of sexual intercourse, according to Ir.net.
In addition to the Illusion VR suit, the male user wears a Tenga on his genitals for direct electronic stimulation and a female breastlike appendage on his sternum. The man can grope and feel the allegedly lifelike breasts to his heart's content.
This $420 interface allows men to enjoy sex with a non-existent partner while wearing all their clothes.
The device is currently sold out.
Tenga, the Japanese company that created the love machine states on its website that it is "revolutionizing sexual pleasure, bringing sexuality to the forefront for all to enjoy," notes the Daily Mirror.
"Topics around sexuality can be quite taboo, and the products designed to provide for these needs have always been branded as lewd and obscene," the site adds.
"That's why Tenga is here."