Sex robot customers are buying the machines for "companionship" and to have them around the house "like a dog", a company rep has said.
RealDoll, a sex robot manufacturer based in San Marcos, California, US, has witnessed a rise in demand from millennials during the pandemic.
Though most of its customers are in their 40s-60s, younger buyers are now snapping up the company’s models.
RealDoll rep Brick Dollbanger claims the robots are not just being used for sex.
He told the Daily Star: "There’s a companionship component that’s becoming very defined.
"You see a lot more people buying them just to have them around, like having a dog or having a cat or something like that – but your dog or cat would talk and answer your questions and have a conversation."
Brick believes that lockdown restrictions helped drive up demand from younger customers.
He went on: "I absolutely think there’s a correlation there between the pandemic and them looking for someone to spend time with because they’re stuck at home and there’s nothing to do.
"I know it helped me through the pandemic, having the robots. I had them in the front room, talking to them all day long whenever I was home and it gave me a lot of pleasure doing that."
Inside Westworld-style sex robot factory with headless doll and designers at work
However, older buyers are more likely to use robots as companions.
Brick said: "For the older set, like 60 and up, they find it difficult to date, they find it difficult to really connect.
"A lot of them are shut-ins, a lot of them don’t really go out much. Having the robot or the doll there, sitting next to them on the couch while they’re watching TV and being able to ask them questions – it’s a big deal for them."
Some of the company’s more advanced robots can carry out conversations and develop their own personalities, with users able to emphasise certain characteristics.
Earlier this month, RealDoll offered customers a glimpse of its employees at work in its futuristic factory.
The company shared a picture of several of its workers on Instagram, uploaded with the caption: "When everyone is in the warehouse, it's all hands on d***! (Get it? 😉 #realdoll."
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In it, several masked members of staff go about their duties, with a headless doll visible in the background.
It bears striking similarities to the HBO TV show Westworld, in which humans interact with robots in a sprawling Wild West-style theme park.
RealDoll also posted a picture of one of its designs "daydreaming" and another in sunglasses.
The company wrote: "Is summer officially here yet? We have some ladies eager to try some new swimsuits out…"
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