Sexbot too expensive? Live-cam with 'Cardi-Bot' and tell it to twerk
Live-camming site CamSoda is letting users talk dirty with an AI sex robot that shimmies and twerks.
Ry CristSenior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
ExpertiseSmart home technology and wireless connectivityCredentials
10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
CamSoda users have long been able to log on and view live feeds from a variety of adult performers with the option of tipping or paying a premium for a private session. Now they can do the same thing with an android that dances.
Cardi-Bot will be available once a week for free public broadcasts where users can spin a tip-wheel to request different movements and conversation options. Users who like what they see also have the option to enter a private, one-on-one session with Cardi-Bot where they can tip to request more intimate interactions.
"We wanted to offer people a free chance to interact with robots, which are cost prohibitive for most," said CamSoda VP Daryn Parker, who calls Cardi-Bot the world's first sex robot people can control over the internet.
"We wanted to put our XXX spin on robotics," Parker added, "which is why Cardi-Bot can not only mimic human-like behavior, but also get down and dirty, all with the quick click of a button."
For now, the "down and dirty" stuff appears limited to sexy dance moves. Cardi-Bot features five motors -- just enough for a few select motions, it would seem.
CamSoda says Cardi-Bot is capable of "full conversations," driven by machine learning and natural language processing. But color me extra skeptical on that front. For comparison, look at RealBotix, the Abyss Creations side project responsible for the "Harmony" chat engine found in the company's AI-enhanced RealDoll sex robots. After years of investment, the platform still falls well short of holding full, nuanced conversations, and feels less erotic than, well, robotic.
"We've been working with Lovense for years now and making this an add-on to Cardi-Bot seemed like a natural evolution," Parker said. "We can actually remove the pelvic area and replace it with the requested teledildonics tool, such as a Lovense Max or Nora. The user can then receive the feedback from the sex toy, once it's successfully paired up."
Parker didn't offer specifics on how mechanics of the connection between person and machine would actually work, or what the user should actually expect to feel. We'll let you know if the company responds to our request for follow-up.
Cardi-Bot falls somewhere in the middle, maybe. It's an obvious gimmick meant to grab attention and pull visitors into the site above all else, but one that also might hint at a future where virtual sex workers blur the lines between fantasy and reality. And, regardless of where you fall on the subject of sex robots, the thing has grabbed enough of your attention to get you through this story, at least.
You know, maybe it's not too early for the human performers to look into getting a union.