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These sex robots with cameras for heads are real freaks

Wow, get it R2DoubleD

Robots are, obviously, going to take all our jobs (if they don’t kill us all first). Meanwhile, AI’s writing novels, making questionable music and memeing weird existential shit. Now it seems they’re going head-to-head with human strippers. 

Or head-to-camera, seeing as the gyrating robots have large CCTV cams instead of faces. The 50th Consumer Electronics Show, a huge tech show that showcases some kind of future gadgets, rounded things off in The Sapphire Gentleman’s Club. The robots were exhibited on stage alongside actual human dancers.

The robots were imported from London and unveiled by human dancers in futuristic costumes to the soundtrack from Star Wars – all cool and non-lethal so far. They then proceeded to dance on the poles to Pharrell, Nelly and 50 Cent. At their metallic high heeled feet were tip buckets that read “Need money for batteries” and “MIT bound”. Dollar bills were thrown from every direction, some attached to the robot’s plastic garters. There was a dance-off between IRL women and the robo-dancers – though impressive, it’s no Ex Machina Get Down Saturday Night” routine.

Peter Feinstein, the Sapphire Las Vegas managing partner, told the Daily Beast it was an idea hatched to attract more women to the club and conference.

“We’re appealing to a mass audience who looks on the internet, which we don’t normally do just as a gentlemen’s club,” he said. “The majority of strip clubs are not appealing to people through CES. We’re offering a different place to go. If you’re six people from a company and there’s two women and four guys, you can still here and have some fun and see the robots and not feel like you have to be part of a strip club.”

“Come watch sparks fly as the Robo Twins shake their hardware and leave everyone wondering if those double Ds are real or made in ‘Silicone’ Valley,” a flyer for Sapphire read. One of the twins was given the name ‘R2DoubleD’, because why not.

Giles Walker, the artist who created the robots with a pretty different original purpose, told Dazed: “It has been a strange journey.”

“I built these sculptures based around issues of voyeurism and surveillance. At the time of building, Britain was quickly becoming the most watched society in the world with these ‘mechanical peeping Toms’ appearing on every street corner,” he says. “We were told that it was for our safety and to reduce crime… when statistics prove that street lighting is actually a much more effective way of keeping us safe. The other thing happening at that time in the media was the ‘sexed-up dossier’ that Tony Blair’s government had produced in order to take us to war with Iraq.”

“I was fascinated with the terminology being used… I mean, how can a dossier be ‘sexed-up’! Anyway this led to the whole idea of ‘sexing-up’ a CCTV camera and combining this with the whole watching us/watching them concept.”

In the years since they were first created, Walker found people wanted to hire them for parties and corporate events. “The meaning behind them was lost as soon as they went outside of the art gallery environment,” Walker affirms. However, ‘selling out’ with the dancing cameras meant he could fund his other art and pursue creative ambitions. The artist recently exhibited his own version of The Last Supper at London’s Science Museum.

Walker confirms there’s been “some controversy” in showing his pole-dancing sculptures at the strip club. “I know that CES has an issue with the fact that it is male-dominated – it is attended by around 80 per cent men – and suffers from a serious lack of female speakers and representatives.” 

“I think this is something that they need to seriously address, probably as an industry as a whole, but to criticise a club that calls itself a ‘Gentlemen’s’ club for doing a publicity stunt to attract CES attendees is probably missing the point. Sapphire has hired the sculptures because they see them as, very loosely, linking pole dancing with technology. I think maybe it would have been different if they had been exhibited in the CES exhibition itself but they weren’t, they are ‘contained’ within the club.” 

Walker asserts that, rather than labeling the sculptures as pole dancers or robots, they’re dancing cameras. Whatever they are, they got freaky as fuck.