A study has found that humans become aroused when they touch robots on what would be their genital region or buttocks.
People are strange. – The Doors
Researches in California have discovered that humans have a very interesting response to touching robots on particular spots – they become aroused. The adorable little humanoid robot informed participants that it would ask them to either touch or point to certain areas on its body. When the volunteer touched areas where the robot’s buttocks or genitals would be, there was a “measurable” response of arousal.
“Our work shows that robots are a new form of media that is particularly powerful. It shows that people respond to robots in a primitive, social way,” Jamy Li, the mechanical engineer at Stanford University in California who led the study, told The Guardian. “Social conventions regarding touching someone else’s private parts apply to a robot’s body parts as well. The research has implications for both robot design and the theory of artificial systems.”
The study included ten volunteers – four female and six male – who participated in 26 different trials. The arousal occurred only when touching the “less accessible” areas and not when pointing to them.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this type of robot in action – in July the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s AI and Reasoning Lab recorded an instance where one was, quite adorably, self-aware.