Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
28 September 2017updated 29 Sep 2017 7:15am

14 thoughts on the death of a sex robot

Some questions arising from the death of a robot in Austria.

By Stephen Bush

An artificial robot designed to stimulate the experience of sex with a woman has had to be repaired after hours of being groped and fondled at a convention in Austria.  I have…questions.

  1. Didn’t this all occur in a public space?
  2. I mean, even before you get into how essentially creepy the whole thing is, did this literally happen in public?
  3. Did men queue to do this?
  4. Was there a literal queue of men waiting to grope the sex robot?
  5. Did they make small talk in the queue?
  6. What was the small talk about?
  7. Did it relate to the matter in hand, as it were, or did they range across other topics?
  8. Were friendships formed as men discovered they shared an interest in the work of Martin Amis or the Red Hot Chili Peppers as well as fondling robots?
  9. Did they talk about their jobs?
  10. Were business cards exchanged?
  11. According to reports, the robot had to be sent back for repairs in a parcel, and some of its fingers were broken. Seriously, what?
  12. There was…fluid in the robot. Can I repeat my questions about a public space, in front of other people.
  13. Didn’t anyone notice that the robot was in distress?
  14. Are we the baddies?
Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.