Attention Humans: Robots Are Here to Improve Your Sex Life

Lisa Beebe for

Justin Timberlake’s latest music video, “ Filthy,” features a humanoid robot performing a sexual dance in front of an audience. The video is set at the fictional Pan-Asian Deep Learning Conference in Malaysia, but it’s not that far from what’s happening in reality right now. Sex-robot makers RealDoll recently announced that they’re working on a male sexbot with a “bionic penis,” and pole-dancing robots are performing at a strip club in Las Vegas during CES, the massive Consumer Electronics Show happening this week.

Even if these high-tech faux humans hold no appeal for you, welcoming robots into your home could improve your sex life. Forget about the idea of having sex with robots (if you can), and focus on all the other things these automated helpers can do for you. Some of the robots unveiled at CES this week can take care of simple household tasks, leaving you with more time to get it on with your favorite human. Why waste your energy folding laundry or cleaning up around the house when you can let a robot do those things for you?

One of the robots on display at CES is Foldimate, which founder and CEO Gal Rozov describes as “your robotic laundry-folding friend.” A promotional video released this week depicts several situations in which having to fold laundry can kill the mood—including one where a couple look like they’re about to have sex. (If you’re the kind of person who throws clean laundry on your bed, planning to fold it later, this scenario will hit close to home.) Rozov resents the way folding laundry interferes with precious time in day-to-day life. He told Playboy, “It’s a tedious, laborious chore that we always have to do when we get back home instead of spending some quality time with our spouse.” Whether you’re married or not, you’ll probably agree that some of the best “quality time” happens in bed.

Foldimate can fold an entire load of laundry in under four minutes, depending on your dryer size—though you will have to give it a little help by feeding in each item of clothing. It outputs a neatly-folded stack, perfect for placing in a dresser drawer or on a closet shelf. While the handy robot is not on sale yet, it’s expected to retail for $980, and customers can place a fully-refundable early deposit through the Foldimate website to secure a spot in the first shipment. Rozov says, “We’re finalizing the product by the end of this year, and hopefully by the end of next year, the first products are going to be shipped to customers.”

What if you’re in a romantic mood, but your place is so messy, you’re too embarrassed to have anyone see it? Start saving up for Aeolus, a little robot that might just be the ideal roommate. It won’t eat your food, but it’s always willing to clean up your mess. Alex Huang, CEO and cofounder of Aeolus Robotics is currently at CES, demoing his creation. He says, “This is the first multifunctional in-home robot, and it’s powered by the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning. It can do simple jobs like picking up, fetching, or cleaning, but it can also do more complicated jobs like decluttering your house. It can pick up the vacuum cleaner and do the vacuuming. It can recall where different objects belong and put them back.”

Aeolus, which Huang calls “a robot with wisdom,” uses enterprise-grade AI and machine learning to intelligently map your home and make connections between you as the user and what your preferences are. Once Aeolus gets to know you, it will be able to clean up your place without any help from you. Huang says, “When I want to run to the office, I ask the robot, ‘Tidy up!’ and the robot will scoot around my house, picking things up off the sofa and the floor. It puts them in a basket—or somewhere else—so the house looks much cleaner.”

Huang expects to launch Aeolus to consumers at the end of 2018. Huang says, “This is the beginning of the era of robots. Everybody has so many innovations, but we are the ones focused on handling objects, recognizing people, recognizing objects, recognizing the house map, and then doing things for people totally independently, without bothering them. This will save a lot of time, so you can fill up your time with a loved one, or doing other creative work other than household chores.” When he says, “fill up your time with a loved one" we'll assume he's hinting that you’d have a lot more sex if you let a robot do the cleaning.

Aeolus sounds useful for other reasons (relationships or otherwise)too. If you’re relaxing at home and would rather not will yourself to get up, the company says this little bot can open the fridge, get you a beer, and bring it to you. Aeolus’ ability to recognize and fetch objects mean you could teach it to bring you condoms on command. (You know your partner will be impressed.) The robot is also smart enough to detect changes around the house. If you buy a new ottoman, Aeolus won’t try to “tidy up” by throwing it away—it’ll recognize it as something that belongs in a living room.

While the company is cagey about exactly what Aeolus will cost, they say the price is comparable to the “cost of a family trip overseas.” Family vacations are fun—at least some of the time—but robots that can take care of the thankless tasks around the house? Those are a dream come true.