I found this great article on ROBOTS.NET regarding Robotic skin, some of the examples are actually now available as a commercial or industrial product.
After watching the following documentary on RealDolls I can begin to understand the current pre-occupation with realism in contemporary Humanoid Robotics – RealDolls are currently selling 7 dolls a week for approximately $6000 each, both male and female versions are available. It’s a rather strange, voyeuristic take on what could be described as a product for filling a need for people who have Human Interaction issues, both complex and sexual. I found the documentary to be a little challenging but without bias and clearly compelling and topical for my project…….. if a little disturbing! The link is HERE – embedding has not been allowed.
There’s a good article HERE in the Times, regarding ROBOETHICS, which raises some obvious concerns for the future of Sexbots. Could the Humanoid Robot industry be financed by the Sex industry – in much the same way as the internet has been? After all capitalism has no shame or inhibitions!
How long before RealDolls move into Robotics? – Well they are already offering an ‘Interactive sensory response system’ and robotic actuated gyrating hips – so the answer is – they have already started.