Friday, February 1, 2013

Bots with Boobs

Why does it have boobs? No, really -- why?

The purpose of the human breast is to provide nourishment for infant offspring. (And if you believe my husband or my dog, to act as a comfy pillow -- so nice to be useful.) A robot, being inorganic, incapable of sexual reproduction, and gender-neutral, has no need of them.

OK, so you're uncomfortable with a robot that has no gender. We like our binary gender pronouns, don't we? "It" seems impolite, so we must use "he" or "she," and if the 'bot is female, it must have breasts to visually identify its artificial gender. Right? I can follow along with that logic, I suppose.

But this thing, Femisapien (yours for a mere $100), has more than just breasts to make this less of a robot, and more of a gynoid. Oh yes! This expensive toy is feminine in other ways:

Intelligent and interactive, RS Femisapien™ speaks her own language called "emotish" which consists of gentle sounds and gestures. There is no remote required; interact with her directly and she responds to your hand gestures, touch, and sound.
"EMOTISH"??? "Gentle sounds and gestures"??? Are you [&%$@] kidding me? "She will slow pose, be your back-up singer, introduce herself, dance with you, and even blow kisses."

I found her over in the boys section of my local Toys R Us. Mostly what caught my attention was the bustiness of the robot. Then I looked it up when I got home, and found that. *sigh* The Robosapien has "Fluent international 'caveman' speech."

I have to admit, this sounds like it would be an entertaining toy. She has three different modes: Attentive, Learning and Responsive, and might be interesting for kids to play with, since she can respond to you. Read RobotsRule review of her. I think it would be funny to see what the dog thinks of her, but not $100 curious...

All this is certainly cool, but I still don't know why she's so busty! She's about 14 inches tall, and the most entertaining thing I read about her was in the PC Magazine review:
In the end, my 10-year-old daughter offered the best description and summation of this unusual and somewhat endearing entertainment bot, "I bet 90 percent of the people who will buy this will be men—very, very lonely men." 
Ten years old, people! And she gets it!!

UPDATE: Anita Saarkesian of the Feminist Frequency has also covered the fembot. You should absolutely watch that video. I remember the Heineken ad, and was horrified by it all over again.

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