Warning: This gallery contains images of naked sex dolls. It's not for kids.
Abyss Creations has been making and selling hyper-realistic silicone sex dolls for more than 20 years, but its newest push involves bringing the dolls to life using animatronics, sensor tech and artificial intelligence that gives the dolls programmable personalities.
We traveled to San Marcos, California, to see these new sexbots and to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the company's headquarters. Click through to see how the company is working to make them a reality.
Check out our in-depth feature about these RealDolls and how they will shape our lives.
Soon, you'll be able to purchase a RealDoll with an animatronic head that talks, moves and blinks. You'll also be able to program its personality to your liking, and get to know it through regular conversation.
Robotic dolls are only available for preorder, and won't start shipping until December. But the Harmony AI platform is currently available as an Android app for a $20 yearly subscription. You can use it to create a fully customized virtual female companion. Sort of like Siri with a sex drive.
Published:Caption:Ry CristPhoto:Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET
Male dolls, too
Abyss makes male and female, as well as transgender, dolls. The female dolls are the top sellers. Abyss estimates that nine female dolls leave the factory for each male doll it sells. The male version of the AI platform is still in development and should be arriving sometime next year.
The molds are the secret to the Abyss manufacturing process. After designing a new body, the team will create a mold for it. To make a doll, they fill the mold with a movable metal skeleton, pour in a special liquid silicone mixture, and wait for it to solidify into a finished body.
The next step is giving each skull a removable silicone mouth insert. They're realistic to look at, but even the teeth are rubbery and flexible. The tongue is a separate, double-sided insert -- you can flip it around for a different shape. Yes, the dolls get removable vaginas, too.
Abyss says it can bring just about any custom design to life, and even incorporate fantasy elements, like elf ears. But the company draws the line at making dolls of children, animals or people who haven't given their expressed permission to be replicated, celebrity or otherwise.
Many Abyss designers have backgrounds in Hollywood special effects. This doll stands watch over the staircase that leads down to the production floor. She was used as a prop in the Bruce Willis sci-fi flick "Surrogates." Abyss also designed the titular doll in "Lars and the Real Girl," which stars Ryan Gosling as a man who develops a close companionship with a life-size doll.
This is Matt McMullen, founder, CEO and chief designer of Abyss Creations. McMullen started Abyss out of his garage in 1997 while an art student. Now, he's working to bring his creations to life using artificial intelligence.
The AI platform is called Harmony, and it's already available as a standalone Android app for a yearly subscription fee. With it, users can create a virtual avatar of their doll (even if they don't have one), then customize the personality and start talking to it.
The little metal circles on each robot skull are magnets -- they're what hold the interchangeable faces in place. If they want, customers can purchase extra faces for their robot and switch them out whenever they like.
The robot heads are fully animatronic. They can smile, talk, blink and move their eyes. Soon, McMullen hopes to add motion-tracking cameras to the eyes that'll let them follow you around the room and fully lock on you during conversation.