Imagine walking into a shop and you come across a box filled with dolls heads that still need to be assembled to their bodies.
That's what happened to European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) photographer, Aleksandar Plavevski. The photographer took one for the team and went to visit the Shenzhen Atall Intelligent Robot Technology factory.
One of China's leading sources of artificial intelligent bots, Shenzhen Atall (referred to as AI-Tech) is best known for its top-selling sex doll, Emma. The mannequin, which is worth $3,100, is not all AI-Tech can do: Shenzhen Atall also makes educational cyborgs, commercial servicing machines, and guardianship robots for the elderly.
However, Plavevski's behind-the-scenes photos show off these mute, made-up sex toys, with their soft, elastic skin and body sensors, which makes the biggest splash.
The images are often unsettling and uncomfortable (and certainly NSFW), perhaps due to the fact that these human-esque bodies are hanging naked from hooks like some scene out of Dexter.
Most of the AI-Tech's clients hail from Europe and the U.S., even some folks in the Middle East are also craving faux intimacy but importing sex dolls into the region is strictly prohibited. Similarly, customs clearances in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Russia, and the Philippines makes international shipping difficult.
Unsurprisingly, the female androids are the most popular; sales of male sex robots are nine times lower than their big-boobed counterparts, according to Plavevski.
The market is still in its infancy, though, and rapid changes mean increased interest in silicone penises and six-pack abs – particularly in Korea and Thailand. Shenzhen Atall also sells child-sized sex bots, primarily to customers in North America.
To some people out there, these robots can take care of their needs without them wanting a wedding ring or children.