I don’t know how far off in the future “pleasure units” are in the future but I am certain that they will eventually come to being. No doubt there are already interactive “adult” devices for computers and, I have heard, even the Wii so the previous robot should logically follow. At my age, I am far more likely to see the likes a nurse bot than a woopie bot so to speak.
Nonetheless, central to my reception of both of them is how well I respond to them touching me. According to an article at Science Blog:
For people, being touched can initiate many different reactions from comfort to discomfort, from intimacy to aggression. But how might people react if they were touched by a robot? Would they recoil, or would they take it in stride? In an initial study, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology found people generally had a positive response toward being touched by a robotic nurse, but that their perception of the robot’s intent made a significant difference. The research is being presented today at the Human-Robot Interaction conference in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Recently I wrote a similar article here, about how we were trying to make the robots more accepted by making them move more like us. This makes perfect psychological sense. The more similar something is to one’s self the more easily we accept it. I mean, at one time, I thought my Xwife was human.. Space aliens have to abduct me because they look like aliens if they showed up looking like Nichole Kidman, they would not need drag me off kicking and silently screaming.
Jesting aside though, I wonder how well some bot is going to have to move to convince me that I should not be screaming for a human nurse when it is catheter time? I mean, what if the bot mist reads the “l” for a “t” when the instructions say “lightly, grasp the patients manhood…”?
I can see maybe stuff like bathing, changing sheets, helping you get out of bed etc. but how far and how soon we trust robonurse is going to be fun to watch.