In science fiction, visual arts and, increasingly, real-world robotics, a gynoid or fembot is a humanoid robot with attributes of a human woman. It is a logical progression of human legends of women created from nonliving material, as Galatea's sculpture-come-alive of Pygmalion, and even of the creation of Eve from Adam.
The term "gynoid" is derived from android (the usual name for human-like robots) and Greek gynè (γυνη, woman). The word is credited to the British science-fiction Gwyneth Jones in her novel Divine Endurance (1984), and its popularization to the novels of another British science-fiction author Richard Calder, in particular, his novel Dead Girls (1992) (the first of a trilogy).
The concept goes well back into science fiction of the 1920s and 1930s, but has become more plausible and realistic in the works of artists such as Hajime Sorayama.
Contemporary science fiction
A blurred area in current science fiction, such as the Star Trek franchise, is part-biological part-robotic creatures such as the Borg. These become less and less fantastic, however, with military and prosthetic exoskeletons, sensory enhancements, etc.
While artistic representations certainly preceding engineering prototypes, the HRP-4C is an actual robot, capable of walking and some conversational and emotional response, with human female attributes. This development, by the Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology is intended to have limited commercial applications, such as a model or shop assistant. It is, however, a significant advance over realistic but immobile female images such as those using Disney's Autoanimatronics technology.
Yet another category of nonmobile progression toward robotics are those clearly intended as erotic toys, such as Realdoll. Even the sexual, however, has research implications, as in teledildonics, a concept introduced by Ted Nelson, the inventor of hypertext.
- Leslie Katz (18 March 2009), "Japan's latest supermodel--a robot", CNET