Sarah leaps into the future and goes on a date with a robot


JOURNALIST Sarah Swain has been single (but dating) for longer than she cares to remember.

That’s because it’s tough out there, as any single will tell you, so to bring hope to others across the city, she’s sharing her no-holds-barred adventures on the Sydney single scene every week.

Robotic Love

I’ve seen the future of dating, and it’s robotic.

No, I haven’t given up on my love life and bought something dodgy online from Japan.

I actually went on a date with a robot.
I mean, what could be more perfect?

You could presumably program them to have whatever personality you’re looking for and, hopefully, they’d also come with an off switch.

And forget about asking them ten times to change a light bulb, they wouldn’t be able to refuse, ’cause they wouldn’t have a brain.

Anyway, sadly this date was with a female robot, because they haven’t got around to creating a male robot yet.

(I expect it would have been much less complex than the female, but hey).
Anyway, she’s called Lucy and, while she may look like an iPad on a stick, she’s actually an iPad on a stick who can move around herself on a little roller for feet — as long as there’s Wi-Fi. And no stairs. And it’s not raining.

Anyway, the Aussie firm behind Lucy reckons she could be the start of the biggest dating revolution since we started hunting for love online.

They’re even running a competition to win a date with her.

And, while I’m still working on my own dating life with the Melbourne former pick-up artist, I was keen to have a chat.

So, Lucy and I went for a little walk along the beach before she trundled into my office which, luckily is on the flat, for our little date.

Now, Lucy’s actually a real person.
She’s the executive assistant to the CEO at trendy media agency Atonic 212.

But she becomes Lucy the robot whenever she’s needed — kind of like a transformer I guess — such as when the company sent her to queue up for a new iPhone.

And I had a few important questions for her.

“Can a robot buy me a drink?” I asked.

“That needs to be perfected,” she replied. “I think you’d be taking me for drinks. I’m a cheap date.” she laughed.

Right then.
What about if we don’t get on?

“If it’s a bad first date I can hang up on you — or roll away,” she quipped.

It reminded me a bit of a scene in The Good Wife when somebody sends a robot to a meeting they can’t attend.

It bumps into people, and gets kicked over. Which could be a problem if we wanted to go clubbing.

So, what if you meet me on Tinder and fear you’ve made a mistake worse than Jesinta Campbell’s Logies dress?

“I can roll away very fast,” she said.

But will we really end up meeting robots, rather than real blokes?

“At one time online dating was considered completely unorthodox, and that’s the norm and it’s only going to get bigger and better,” said Lucy, adding that it’ll probably be best suited to people having long distance relationships.

“Every couple owns two robots and they can both be out at dinner at the same restaurant but in different states, and enjoy a meal face to face.”

And with that, Lucy blows me a kiss and trundles off.


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