But while many people find the idea of sex with a mechanical object abhorrent, academics are keen to find out who is most willing to embrace (literally) this new technology.
Speaking at the Love and Sex with Robots conference at Goldsmiths, University of London, Jessica M. Szczuka from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany took on the preconceptions of lonely men shacking up with cyber-lovers.
“I wanted to see what kind of characteristics influence the use of sex robots,” she told an audience at the conference.
“We react towards computers and machines as we do with human beings. This involves showing empathy and keeping an interpersonal distance with robots.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Szczuka’s research found that “anthropomorphic tendency” (ascribe human attributes to) was a positive predictor of intention to buy a sex robot and “negative attitude toward robots” was a negative predictor of intention to buy a sex robot.