Scientists dismissed the claims that ‘sexbots’ can be used to prevent sex crimes, reduce loneliness and promote safer sex. Picture: Pixabay

London - They have been promoted as an aid to prevent sex crimes, reduce loneliness and promote safer sex.

But scientists on Monday dismissed the claims made on behalf of ‘sexbots’ – lifelike robots created for sexual gratification that can cost as much as £11 000 (about R138 000).

Researchers from King’s College London and at St George’s University Hospitals Trust said it was fanciful to suggest the dolls could eliminate sex trafficking or prostitution. And they were unable to find a single study on the health implications of sexbots.

They also criticised designers for using unrealistic representations of women.

Dr Chantal Cox-George of St George’s said: "It is speculative whether the development of a sexbot marketplace will lead to lesser risk of violence and infections, or drive further exploitation of human sex workers."

Instead the researchers said sexbots could be used to help with relationship difficulties, erectile dysfunction and other problems, according to an article in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health.