Hines believes that Roxxxy is a step above other love dolls -- the similar but mute Real Doll costs about ,500 -- because her conversational abilities provide something close to emotional companionship. Shy, awkward or older men who "have trouble meeting girls," he says. True Companion claims that more than 4,000 men have placed pre-orders for Roxxxy robots, and another 20,000 or so have requested information about the product.
In an industry known for pushing the technological envelope, observers are curious about how Roxxxy will fare in the marketplace. Yes," said Sherri Shaulis, an editor at Adult Video News, a trade magazine for the pornographic industry. True Companion also is developing a male sex robot, named Rocky.
Hines says a female sex therapist even contacted him about buying one for her patients.
Roxxxy has been like catnip to talk-show hosts since her debut at AEE, the largest porn-industry convention in the country.
To create her shape, a female model spent a week posing for a series of molds.
The robot runs on a self-contained battery that lasts about three hours on one charge, Hines says.
"Roxxxy generated a lot of buzz at AEE," said Grace Lee, spokeswoman for the porn-industry convention.
"The prevailing sentiment of everyone I talked to about Roxxxy is 'version 1.0,' but people were fascinated by the concept, and it caused them to rethink the possibilities of 'sex toys.' " Hines, a self-professed happily married man from Lincoln Park, New Jersey, says he spent more than three years developing the robot after trying to find a marketable application for his artificial-intelligence technology.
"There's a tremendous need for this kind of product," said Hines, a computer scientist and former Bell Labs engineer.
Roxxxy won't be available for delivery for several months, but Hines is taking pre-orders through his Web site, True Companion.com, where thousands of men have signed up.
"They're like, 'I can't wait to meet her,' " Hines said.
"It's almost like the anticipation of a first date." Women have inquired about ordering a sex robot, too.
Customers can recharge Roxxxy with an electrical cord that plugs into her back.