In recent days, launches to Mars have been increasing: the Emirati probe Al-Amal, the Chinese mission Tianwen, and the American mission Mars 2020. If it will take two years for the probes to reach the red planet Scientists are already thinking about upcoming human exploration missions. Among the obstacles to overcome, that of the well-being of astronauts in the face of social and intimate isolation. One solution could lie in erobotics.
Although trained and trained to live in confined spaces over a long period of time, astronauts remain human beings, and there are needs that are difficult to eliminate. Among them, the emotional and sexual need could find a solution in erobots, an inventive technology in the field of sexuality. Researchers Simon Dubé (Concordia University) and Dave Anctil (Université de Laval) are pioneers in this field.
Erobotics, or robotics at the service of human sexuality
Sex toys have been around for a long time and already provide the user’s sexual satisfaction. But according to the two researchers, the social dimension of human sexuality is not satisfied with these toys. This is where erobots make their appearance.
This portmanteau word created from the words “erotic” and “robot” designates all robotic technologies devoted to human sexuality. These are, for example, sex robots, erotic conversational agents, or even virtual or augmented partners. They would offer a physical and / or emotional intimacy quite sufficient to calm the ardor or the anxieties due to the isolation of the astronauts. Immersive and interactive experiences would even be possible by combining erobots and sex toys. Erobotics could even become a field of study in its own right for researchers.
The emotional and sexual need is far from being a trifle
Faced with the many taboos surrounding sexuality, researchers plead for better listening to the sciences, which demonstrate that sexual and emotional needs are fundamental needs of human nature. These needs could even jeopardize a mission if they were left unthought of by space research. Simon Dubé and Dave Anctil argue in particular that abstinence cannot be suitable for everyone and that erobotics is still the best solution to solve the question of human intimate needs in space.
A necessary ethical reflection
Many researchers do not stop there and are already imagining all the resources that erobotics could bring. This interdisciplinary field could indeed have positive effects in health, for example by taking the constants of astronauts.
For some, erobots could also be used in education and research. Thus, no less than eighteen scientists have already reflected on the ethical and scientific implications of this new field, to be read in the publication of MIT Robot Sex.