US researchers have warned that the availability of sex robots with artificial intelligence (AI) poses a growing psychological and moral threat to individuals and society.
They say the technology is escaping oversight because agencies are too embarrassed to investigate it.
The scientists want action to prevent the unregulated use of such robots.
Dr Christine Hendren of Duke University told BBC News that “the stakes were high”.
“Some robots are programmed to protest, to create a rape scenario,” she said.
“Some are designed to look like children. One developer of these in Japan is a self-confessed paedophile, who says that this device is a prophylactic against him ever hurting a real child.