A recent report by the Pew Research Center looks at how continuing improvements to artificial intelligence and robotics will affect various areas of society, including sexual relationships. Says the report, “robotic sex partners will become commonplace” by 2025.

Actually, the future is now. A visit online to a number of different sites can introduce you to life-size sex dolls made of silicone. Models come with soft, working genitals, some with their bodies already primed and in position to do the deed. In fact, the sex doll industry is thriving in Japan, according to newspaper accounts. Scientists there are on a mission to create the most lifelike sex dolls with increasingly real-feeling skin and authentic-looking eyes.

In addition, there are also robotic devices that can be used to perform sexual acts on men and bring their users to orgasm. One, the Autoblow 2, is available online and made possible by money raised through crowdfunding. The second, the SW-3701 sperm extractor, was created by Chinese researchers and is used in some hospitals there to collect semen from donors. The devices are different, but both get the job done by providing stimulation that prompts an orgasm.

Scientists who study this topic say there is plenty more research being done in the field, including efforts to create robots that can interact and even converse with people.

David Levy, the author of a book on the subject, Love and Sex with Robots, believes that for millions of people who have trouble establishing sexual relationships with other human beings for one reason or another, robots may offer the perfect erotic companionship.