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People Get Weirdly Aroused When They Touch Robots

People Get Weirdly Aroused When They Touch Robots

A Stanford University-based study has proved something we already know: “Physiological arousal was related to body accessibility.” In other words, the less accessible the part of the body—like the genitals and buttocks that we keep clothed in public—the more sexually arousing it is to us.

But what we didn’t know is that the study can be applied not just to humans… but to robots. Yes, science has proven that humans become aroused when touching “the genitals” of robots.

What this is, I can’t even.

Six male and four female volunteers were asked to touch a robot in one of thirteen locations on its plastic body while a sensor measured their skin conductance—a gauge of arousal. Twenty-six trials later, researchers learned that the volunteers became aroused when touching the robot’s private parts. And if that doesn’t induce nightmares, I don’t know what will.

The volunteers were less aroused when touching a more accessible body part, such as a foot. They were not aroused at all when asked to point to the robot’s body.

Jamy Li, a mechanical engineer at Stanford University in California and leader of the study, told The Guardian,

“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. 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.”

Because this is a scientific experiment involving robots, you would expect the video, below, to be safe for work. But then the robot says, “Sometimes I’ll ask you to touch my body…” in a way that strongly suggests NSFW content. And then the robot says, “When I ask you to touch me, I want you to touch me with your dominant hand,” in a way that absolutely, positively suggests NSFW content.

What this study actually means: Some of us will be welcoming our robot overlords a little more eagerly than others.

Feature Image Credit: Guardian Science and Tech.

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