Sega Toys in Japan has produced a robotic girlfriend that kisses on command. Named “EMA” (Eternal Maiden Actualisation), the 15 inch tall “toy” runs on batteries and uses infrared sensors to enter “love mode” when a human head gets close. EMA can also hand out business cards and sing and dance, yet Sega will target “her” to a market of lonely men.
“Strong, tough and battle-ready are some of the words often associated with robots, but we wanted to break that stereotype,” said Minako Sakanoue, a spokeswoman for Sega.
“She’s very lovable and though she’s not a human, she can act like a real girlfriend.” (Are you kidding me?)
EMA will go on sale in September for around US$175 and Sega hopes to sell 10,000 in the first year.
Japan, the undisputed leader in robotic technology, envisions a ten billion dollar market for artificial intelligence in a decade. Like something out of the Spielberg/Kubrick hybrid A.I., it is envisioned by some that sex with robots will be commonplace within 50 years.
I can see the advantages of robot love – you can turn her off if she begins to complain. And it’s not so hard to imagine given the battery-powered aids already in circulation. But devices such as EMA will only further detach an already technology-drunk population. Besides, if she can’t cook you a meal, what good is she?
by Max Drake
(Source: Reuters. Max Drake is a freelance designer for GritFX. Max has an interest in all things weird and will have regular posts on this blog.)
For more robotic madness, check out the video of the humanoid at the 2006 Akiba Robot Fair http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1SADcP5g1o&feature=related