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R2-DTF? Chinese Company is Building the Next Generation of AI-Powered Sex Robots

Published: JUNE 25, 2024 | Updated: JUNE 25, 2024
AI-powered sex robots that can interact like humans aren't as far off as we think.

Shenzhen-based company Starpery Technology is about to make a big splash in the world of sexy tech with its upcoming line of sex robots powered by AI.


Despite China’s reputation for having a more conservative culture where it is considered rude to talk about sex, Starpery’s CEO Even Lee told the South China Morning Post that the market for sex dolls in China is actually greater than the market in Japan, Germany, and the US combined. 

“People in the industry know China has a huge market, with purchasing power in major cities surpassing many European countries. The market is also open in mind though aesthetically different from the European market,” said Lee.

That makes sense considering China’s southern Guangdong province, where Shenzhen is located, is the world’s largest manufacturing center for sex toys. 


This location streamlines a lot of the production costs for Starpery, passing the savings on to the customer. While US-based company RealDoll offers high-quality work for roughly $8,000 (their new RealDoll X line of AI robot heads with a full body coming in at around $11,000), Starpery’s prices hover closer to $1,500.

“The supply chain in Guangdong is complete, and manufacturers respond quickly to market demands. New technologies can usually be seen in products, the following month it shows up somewhere else,” Lee said.

Training sex robots to interact like humans

While Starpery’s dolls already have touch-sensitive moaning, heating, and automatic suction, with limited speech capabilities, Lee wants to take things further by introducing Large Language Models. 


“Technological challenges remain, particularly in achieving realistic human interaction,” Lee said. “While simple dialogue is easy, creating interactive responses involves complex model development by specialized software companies.”

Currently, Starpery offers an additional external pack that connects to the doll remotely and offers moaning and simple responses to basic prompts such as “Do you love me?” or “You got big boob” according to the site’s tutorial video

By training their male and female dolls on Large Language Models, LLM for short, Starpery could vastly improve verbal responsiveness in variety, inflection, and customization. LLMs, as with all Generative AI, are built on enormous data sets of human speech. 


Eventually, these models will allow users to create the perfect personality for their sex bot, by choosing and mixing certain personality traits. Users could craft the sleazy, yet demure, brunette or the fierce and fiery redhead of their dreams.

Tackling the challenges of creating lifelike sex robots

Not content with only improving the doll’s personality and speech capabilities, Lee also wants to make them move realistically. That is, after all, what separates “dolls” from “robots."

“The new generation of sex dolls, powered by AI models and equipped with sensors, can react with both movements and speech, significantly enhancing user experience by focusing on emotional connection rather than just basic conversational abilities,” Lee said.


There are some hurdles when it comes to creating the perfect sex bot. Lee says the two biggest issues are battery capacity and creating fake muscles.

The battery issue is obvious. Providing enough juice to power a humanoid robot would require a large battery. Starpery’s current special features, such as touch sensitivity and speech, use external controls and speakers that connect wirelessly, while the suction function connects to a port on the doll’s body. 

If the goal is to have everything in one package (or is it one body?), where would the battery go? Though Starpery hasn't found the solution yet, they're working on it.


As for the muscles, current motor technology can’t mimic actual muscles' ability to flex and relax or flex and bend in a wide range of motion. 

Creating realistic motion isn't cheap, either. 

Reducers, which transfer power between the joints and the motor, are a necessity for humanoid robots and usually comprise about 30% of the total build cost. This could drive up Starpery’s incredibly competitive prices. 

“We strive to decrease the cost so that more people can afford realistic dolls, while adding motors will increase the cost [to] some extent,” Lee admitted.

One small issue that could also pop up is the verbal and physical response times. Without a beefy processor onboard, these sex bots would need internet connectivity to utilize AI features. If the connection is slow or spotty, then there could be delays in the robot's reactions. 

It isn’t a dealbreaker, but it would get old fast. 

What about the ethical implications?

The final concern is more ethical than engineering.

What sort of codes of conduct are in place when it comes to sex robots? Unsavory customers could use the robot to unleash abuse, both physical and verbal. While some may not consider this an issue since robots don’t have feelings, it doesn’t bode well for flesh-and-blood women that more and more men would have an outlet for sexual violence. Instead of decreasing violent urges, this may actually increase them. 

Then there's the ethical issues involved in utilizing LLMs or any other responsive AI. According to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology’s 2023 paper “Research Report on AI Ethics Governance”:

“AI that can make decisions under certain conditions could challenge human autonomy and self-perception. Large language models also pose risks of data leaks and privacy violations, as information from users could become material for training generative AI.”

Despite these ethical conundrums, we'll get to see how this plays out sooner rather than later. Lee stated that the first prototypes are expected to be rolled out by the end of August this year.

Starpery’s goal is eventually to create robots that can do more than just have sex. They want to make helpful humanoids that can help with household chores, aid folks with disabilities, and take care of the elderly. The plan is to release the first of these “smart service robots” by 2025.

Justin Perlman

Justin Perlman has written about sex, dating, LGBTQIA+ issues, and Pop culture for Philadelphia Weekly, Women's Health Interactive, and Kinkly. He lives with his wife, two cats (Superintendent Chalmers & Dr. Whoopsy Daisy), and a puppy (Walton Doggins).

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