Study Finds That People Can Be Aroused By Touching Robots With "Human-Like Bodies"

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Researchers at Stanford University have found that people who touched robots in what would be considered "intimate places" on the human body experienced increased levels of arousal. 

However, how the word "arousal" is used here is key, because the term doesn't exactly mean that the individuals who participated in the study were sexually aroused while touching the robots. Rather, the participants were more sensitive to the fact that they were touching an "intimate" place on the robot's anatomy. 

"There was a tendency to treat the robot like it had social rules that applied to it," Jamy Li, a doctoral student in Stanford's Department of Communication, said while presenting his research in Japan, according to the Washington Post. "Perhaps people feel like robots with human-like bodies are more like a person."

Li told students that they would be participating in an anatomy lesson. He had the participants touch a small robot with the features of a human, and had the students touch the robot in several places. During the experiment, the students had to wear a sensor. 

The sensors affixed to the participants were able to measure the response of their nervous systems and their levels of "electrodermal activity," or the conductivity of the skin that can be a marker for alertness. "When the 10 participants touched the robot rather than pointed at it, their physiological arousal rose," the Washington Post reported. "And for 90% of participants, arousal increased the more 'off-limits' the body part got. Touching a robot's hand or neck elicited a less significant response than touching the eye or buttocks, for example."

Read more: This Dude's Creepy Lady Robot Looks Disturbingly Like Scarlett Johansson

h/t the Washington Post 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Philip Lewis

Philip Lewis is a programming editor at Mic. He was previously an editorial fellow for 'The Huffington Post'. He can be reached at plewis@mic.com

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.