kokoro company (a subsidiary of the hello kitty empire, sanrio) has released the "Actroid DER2 Icon Robot"... a 'realistic' android which (who?) is decidedly female. leave it to the culture that came up with anime (and specifically hentai-anime) to develop what some people have termed an advanced blow-up doll... even though the technology is pretty intriguing, for a host of reasons. this reminds me of a news story a while ago about a man in the uk who is leading the discussion of the idea of morals and personal rights of androids... and specifically rights concerning human/android sexual relations. it's all a bit creepy. the thing that really gets me is that although the public demonstrations of DER2's capabilities have all been quite benign, i just get the sneaking suspicion that the knuckle-heads who chose to make this thing look like a teenage girl probably went ahead and gave it nipples.