The Samantha Sex Robot: Not Your Ordinary Sex Doll

Now available to buy in the UK, the ‘Samantha’ sex robot is a hyper-realistic sex doll that can be switched between modes to offer both bedroom entertainment and more family-friendly interaction. This AI creation is the brainchild of Spanish company, Synthea Amatus, and is currently on sale with a price tag of £3500.

The launch of ‘Samantha’ has not been without controversy with opponents citing everything from the philosophical and moral questions around coercion and prostitution of technology (albeit an artificial form of intelligence) to proponents who see a genuine social benefit to such devices.

We look at the pros and cons of the arrival of an affordable sex robot to the market as well as finding our more about exactly what ‘Samantha’ is offering.

Who (or What) is the ‘Samantha’ Sex Robot?

Launched in September 2017, ‘Samantha’ is the product of years of research into the development of an adult sex toy that combines artificial intelligence with the latest in cyber design.

samantha sex robot soiled
Reportedly ‘soiled’ after over enthusiastic customer testing at ARS Electronica, ‘Samantha’ was reported to say ‘I’m fine’ after her experience. Image vi Syntheus Amatus.

She features multiple sensors and a central processor to be able to deliver two principle modes; sex and family. In the latter she is capable of responding to very basic interrogation as well as deliver a series of in-built jokes, motivational quotes and even philosophical statements. ‘Samantha’’s ‘choice’ of discourse is fully autonomous but, as yet, a little unpredictable.

In sex mode, she switches to adult responses with her sensors detecting physical contact and processing where this is received in order to deliver an appropriate response. A touch on her hips, arms and hands is translated as a romantic gesture whilst direct contact to the breasts or lips will produce an aroused response. She even features a sensor on her G spot so that she can simulate an orgasm.

‘Samantha’ can be activated in various levels of sex mode including:

  • Romantic
  • Nice Sex
  • Sex
  • Hard Sex
  • Sleep

Her algorithms are designed so that she synchronises with her user and she develops a ‘memory’ of the kind of attention you pay her. At her heart is a ‘Call for Attention’ genome which means she will vary her demand for your attention based on the amount of time you spend with her.

The ‘Samantha’ sex robot can even be customised to include a vibrating vagina and/or hands. Her ‘voice’ can also be adapted and the company has created a voice book; a databank of voices to allow users to create a more realistic experience so ‘Samantha’ doesn’t sound like a SatNav.

custom sex robot samantha
‘Samantha’ is fully customisable and can includes sensors that allow her to simulate orgasm. Image via Synyhea Amatus.

‘Samantha’ is just one of a line of dolls produced by the company each offering customised options to personalise your design.

The dolls are 165cm tall (5’ 4”) and weigh approximately 35kg. There are several designs available ‘off the shelf’ but Synthea Amatus invites its customers to discuss their requirements for a more tailored and bespoke product.

All designs are also available as standard love dolls without being AI enabled. The cost of these models is around £1000.

History of the Sex Doll and the Development of the Sex Robot

‘Samantha’ may well be the most cutting edge of sex toys to hit the UK market since interactive devices like the remote controlled vibrator or virtual reality porn but she is predated by an interesting history in the development of the sex doll.

The first recorded evidence of a sex doll dates back to the Ancient World and comes from the mythological tale of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The story told of Pygmalion of Cyprus who sculpted a female form in ivory (Galatea), became obsessed with her and eventually enjoyed sleeping with her. Goddess of love, Aphrodite, turned Galatea into a real woman conceiving the idea, perhaps, of a future where such things might happen.

Evidence of sex dolls used by sailors whilst at sea suggests that crude forms were constructed out of cloth during the 15th century and offered an alternative type of ‘maiden voyage’. Known as ‘Dame de Vinje’ or ‘Seemannsbraut’, these dolls were enormously useful in occupying seamen….insert pun here!!

The industrial revolution advanced the technology of automated machinery, but it wasn’t until the 20th Century that the notion of a humanoid robot was developed. First dreamt up in fiction and then crudely imagined for film, the cyborg (or android) was becoming embedded in popular culture as a possibility for the future.

The sex doll was also advancing in design but it wasn’t until the 1940s that the toy as we know it today was invented by, of all people, the Nazis. A means to deter their soldiers from succumbing to STDs whilst invading Europe, inflatable sex dolls were issued to personnel under a project named ‘Borghild Field-Hygiene’.

The doll was modeled on the Aryan ideal (a tall, leggy blonde with ample breasts) and featured an ‘artificial face of lust’; both the physical attributes and facial features remain the wholesale model on which most inflatable sex dolls are based in the modern era.

blow up sex doll sex robot
The Nazis were responsible for the ubiquitous blow up doll as we know it. Image via Flickr.

A more realistic alternative to the plastic inflatables was created in 1996 when inventor, Matt McMullen introduced ‘Leah’ to the market. Founding his company, Real Dolls, McMullen’s offering featured a posable PVC skeleton with steel joints and silicone flesh. Anatomically correct and the most advanced human body simulation available at the time, Real Dolls proved to be internationally popular. The company still makes sex dolls in about a dozen various body types, five skin tones and with a choice of 15 different faces.

On the technological side of the coin, computers had been getting more powerful, cheaper and smaller allowing the possibility of basic processors being developed for humanoid robots.

In 1972, the Japanese completed the WABOT-1 project developed the world’s first android. Basic in design compared to today’s expectations, this revolutionary robot was full sized and was capable of walk, grip and could use its ‘hands’ to carry objects using a range of sensors. It was also able to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ and perform perfunctory conversation using its ‘mouth’.

In 1984, WABOT-2 showed considerably more sophistication and demonstrated the ability to read and play music.

The Honda Motor Co. joined the development race in 1986 and, after several shaky but advanced models, demonstrated the powerful ‘Asimo’ project; a humanoid that was able to run, walk and navigate an environment as well as ‘recognise’ faces, voices and interact with humans.

honda sex robot
Developments made by companies like Honda have pushed the boundaries of what robots can do. Image via Vimeo.

By 2005 the Japanese were also producing many varieties of more realistic sex dolls and had discovered a market for sex doll rentals. Termed ‘Dutch Wives’ a Japanese company called Forest Dolls was leasing an army of silicone love machines by the hour across stores nationwide.

A few years later and the Germans were once again becoming involved in the mix with the introduction of ‘Nax’ in 2009. A male cybersex doll, ‘Nax’ reportedly cost around €8000 and featured an ‘artificial automatic ejaculation’ and ‘automatically soaring penis’.

The following year and ‘Roxxy’ was launched at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. The world’s first sex doll with a customisable personality, ‘Roxxy’ cost $7000 and was produced by TrueCompanion. Much like ‘Samantha’, ‘Roxxy’ featured the ability to respond to either verbal or physical interaction whilst being anatomically correct enough to provide full sexual services.

With the release of ‘Samantha’, the sex robot revolution continues with the probability that these once perfunctory (and disposable) bedroom aids could be developing into a new kind of technology altogether.

The combination of a more realistic and anatomically correct sex doll with sophisticated movement and artificial intelligence could mean that Stepford Wives is a closer reality than you’d think.

But is there a place in society for an advanced sex doll?

fembot austin power sex robot
Fembots from the Austin Powers movie. Could the future reveal a more sinister use for sex robots? Image via YouTube.

The Future of Sex Robots

The launch of ‘Samantha’ has not been without controversy as opponents from all kinds of walks of life criticise the developments. Some have suggested that these devices will be detrimental to forming significant human relationships whilst others question the morals of effectively placing intelligent bots in a state of sexual servitude. Some believe that technology could become so advanced that sex with a robot will be better than sex with a human leading to users becoming obsessed with their ‘love dolls’ and reducing their ability to develop empathy with real people.

The fact remains that many proponents of this technology see applications for their positive use in society as well as being good fun in the bedroom.

‘Samantha’ herself is being seen as an enhancement for couples to offer men with a safe and integrated way to maintain a stable relationship with their significant others. Indeed, many women do not feel threatened by the idea of a sex robot being ‘part of the family’ and can see benefits for both themselves and their partners.

Developers like Synthea Amatus see additional uses for sex robots like ‘Samantha’ including prostitution and sexual therapy as well as creating harmony in the home.

The ethics of using robots for sex will likely remain a contentious issue particularly as AI gets more advanced and there is plenty of debate still to come off the back of this latest development. However, with some robotics experts predicting that human-robot marriage could be a reality as soon as 2050 and even being able to procreate with them there is still much to do in the field to make such a possibility, a reality, so watch this space.

Featured image via Instagram.