A campaign has been launched calling for a ban on the development of robots that can be used for sex.
Such a use of the technology is unnecessary and undesirable, said campaign leader Dr Kathleen Richardson.
Sex dolls already on the market are becoming more sophisticated and some are now hoping to build artificial intelligence into their products.
Those working in the field say that there is a need for such robots.
Dr Richardson, a robot ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester, wants to raise awareness of the issue and persuade those developing sex robots to rethink how their technology is used.
“Sex robots seem to be a growing focus in the robotics industry and the models that they draw on – how they will look, what roles they would play – are very disturbing indeed,” she told the BBC.
She believes that they reinforce traditional stereotypes of women and the view that a relationship need be nothing more than physical.
“We think that the creation of such robots will contribute to detrimental relationships between men and women, adults and children, men and men and women and women,” she said.