Sex robots - and how they could help your love life
A few weeks ago, a programme aired on Channel 4 called The Sex Robots Are Coming. It featured a futuristic robot called Harmony and showed viewers how companies across the globe are developing droids for people's sexual pleasure and convenience.
The show was met with quite a mixed response, particularly on Twitter, where viewers expressed concerns about individuals interacting with robots as opposed to real lovers.
However, the Californian company behind Harmony and others like her is still pursuing its goal of providing AI creations that have the ability to interact with their owners - in the bedroom and anywhere else in the home.
Anatomically correct (albeit not with proportions that most of us enjoy) and life-sized, they're powered with AI and also an 'X-mode'.
"My X-mode will allow me to fulfil your wildest sexual fantasies," Harmony told news channel CBS when it went to visit Realbotix HQ in San Diego.
It might sound quite creepy and even a little far-fetched, but there's also an air of poignancy to this story too, as pointed out by a man who already owns five of the sex robots and wanted to be known only as 'Brick'.
He said he's an older man, yet still has the same sex drive he always did - something that can be quite hard to satisfy when potential partners tend to prefer more simple companionship.
Being able to enjoy the company of an AI robot in the bedroom has a positive knock-on effect in the wider world, Brick explained.
"I think women enjoy my company more now because basically I want to be a friend. If I like them, they really want to know that I like them," he added.
Owners of these technologically advanced new sex toys can build the face, customise the body, choose a voice and even purchase personality traits for their new 'friend' - and the more they interact with him or her, the more the droids will respond.
Realbotix believes sexbots could really help to boost the confidence of those who have trouble connecting with others, including the bereaved, disabled or elderly people.
Eventually, it hopes to launch more AI creations that could become friends and even caregivers. However, for now, it's all about sex and having a partner on hand whenever you want one.
What do you think? Are sex robots just another kind of beneficial sex toy, or is this an avenue you'd rather not go down?