Are robots the key to stopping sexual assaults?

Questions emerge about the future role of sex robots

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Some people think robots can help decrease the amount of sexual violence that occurs regularly, according to a recent report from the Foundation for Responsible Robotics.

No, I’m not talking about “Robo-Cop” or the police robot URL from “Futurama.” In fact, the robots in question are sex robots, or sexbots.

The report says “there are a few who believe that they could help in therapeutic prevention to stop pedophiles offending or reoffending.”

Shin Takagi founded a company with this idea in mind. His company, Trottla, manufactures and sells sexbots that are designed to look like children.

He told the Atlantic that he wants people to be able to express their desires legally and ethically.

Ron Arkin, a robotics professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, agrees and actually goes even further, saying he thinks people should be prescribed sex with robots in order to express their urges and desires away from real children.

However, Peter Fagan of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says the robots could have the opposite effect, in that they could reinforce this dangerous behavior.

Beyond children, there are further issues regarding rape. The report cites the HBO show “Westworld” as an example where humans are able to take advantage of the robotic “hosts” in the theme park and could simulate a rape.

Sex robots, as currently constructed, are not capable of giving any sort of consent as they are designed for the express purposes of sexual activity. However, some wonder if having sex with robots reinforces bad behavior.

The U.S. does not have any laws regarding sex with robots, though the Supreme Court has ruled, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, that virtual child pornography, which includes actors/actresses who are of age, is not banned. Additionally, no U.S. government body is presently considering robot’s right laws nor legislation that would make pedophelic or rape simulated robot sex illegal.

The New York Times recently published a video featuring Matt McMullen, the CEO of a company currently building sexbots.

Who’s in the biz?

There are several companies in the business of building and selling sex robots according to the Responsible Robots report and futureofsex.net.

Depending on the company, sexbots can sell for anywhere from $1,800 to up to $60,000.

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