Pinterest A workbench in the Abyss Creations factory, where Harmony is manufactured. She would provide an opportunity for them to practise social interaction and get better at human relationships. How could there be anything negative about that? She was the talk of the show before her unveiling, and the laughing stock after. Far from being the sexy, intelligent machine Hines had promised, Roxxxy was revealed to be a clunky, mannish mannequin with a square jaw, reclining awkwardly in a cheap negligee.
Seven years on from her launch, Hines told me he was working on his 16th version of Roxxxy. However, no images have been released of his robots since , and although he was happy to speak to me by telephone, he would not agree a date when I could visit him and his latest model in person. Roxxxy is a mystery among the online robot enthusiast community.
But Hines continues to get calls. He promised a fantasy so potent that potential buyers, reporters and critics remain fascinated by Roxxxy, even in the absence of any proof that she exists.
In the early s, Matt McMullen was an art college graduate, singing in a grunge band and taking odd jobs to get by. While he was working for a company that made latex Halloween masks, he learned about the properties of different materials and the challenges of designing in three dimensions. In , aged 24, McMullen started sculpting idealised female forms in his garage at home, first as small figurines that he exhibited at local art shows and comic conventions.
He called his company Abyss Creations so his models came up early in the alphabetised convention brochures. Soon, he became preoccupied with the idea of creating a lifesize mannequin so realistic that it forced passersby to double-take. He put some photographs of his creations on a homemade web page in , hoping to get some feedback from friends and fellow artists.
These were the early days of the internet, and communities of fetishists had begun to form online. As soon as he posted the pictures, strange messages began to flood in. How anatomically correct are these dolls? Are they for sale? Can you have sex with them? When he realised how labour intensive the process would be, he started putting his prices up. Sex, love and robots: The company has made RealDolls with blood-red flesh, devil horns and vampire fangs, and with thick hand-stitched body hair from neck to ankle.
Seventeen people work in the San Marcos HQ, but that is not enough to keep up with demand: In the basement, a long queue of headless bodies hung from a track in the ceiling, like carcasses in an abattoir.
Some had cartoonish, pendular breasts, others had athletic bodies; they all had the same tiny waists. Their skin, made from a custom blend of medical silicone, even had airbrushed veins. For the workers here, the dolls had lost their ability to shock or titillate: RealDolls are fully customisable, with 14 different styles of labia and 42 different nipple options.
Upstairs, where the fine details are added, there were dozens of tubs of different coloured hand-painted, veined eyeballs.
Shore explained that most of their customers send photographs of what they would like Abyss to recreate. McMullen sculpted one of the three male face options to look exactly like himself.
None of the male dolls are selling very well. In fact, Abyss is in the process of revamping its entire male line. The core Realbotix team of five work remotely from their homes across California, Texas and Brazil. They assemble in San Marcos every few months to pull together all their work on a new, updated Harmony. Whoever owns Harmony will be able to mould her personality according to what they say to her.
Her memory, and the way she learns over time, is what McMullen hopes will make the relationship believable.