The Hitome Unit, the pioneering sexualized robot from the early part of the Second Renaissance, broke new ground in the realm of civilian robotics and personal companion androids. The Hitome faced a strong negative public image, and eventually succumbed to social pressure. The machines were considered too lifelike, falling into the Uncanny Valley, and espoused unhealthy relationships with their owners. This, tied with the high cost of the units doomed the Hitomes to history and obscurity, to be replaced by more socially acceptable Femmebots, autons, and CogNet sims.
The Dakimakura is a very low end robot, with a minimal synthetic intelligence and physical ability. It is a ambulatory plush figure, ranging from the ubiquitous teddy bear toy enjoyed by children up to 'Pillowkins' or full size humanoid plush companions. Unlike the Hitome and other autons, the Dakimakura does not have a cortex, just a CogNet link back to a synthetic intelligence program in the data cloud. This allows the dakimakura to be very cheap to make, and have very low maintenance requirements.
The common nomenclature for dakimakura for children, and related plush toys is 'Dakim'. The adult sized and far less common models are referred to as Dakimakura. In the Atlantic Federation, dakim are called Boppets (robot puppets) or Muppets, and adult sized Dakimakura are imported from Nippon and have no comparable product. Dakim/Boppets are common around the world, while Dakimakura are primarily only found in the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, and parts of the Pacific Rim Coalition.
Ted, Celebrity Boppet
Ted is a well known boppet, a walking talking wise cracking character that stars in it's own sitcom. A popular program, the show revels in drug and toilet humor, breaking the fourth wall, and heavy advertising presence. Ted boppets are readily available in stores, and every Black Friday there is usually a major Ted toy release.
PhloxNet is nearly a century old, and is the longest running program on the CogNet, having been designed during the twilight of the 3rdNet. It started as a ruthless exploitation of the addictive qualities of immersive entertainment on children, but during the creative process, the program was co-opted by it's content generators. While it remains a titan of children's marketing, it is also a figurehead of edutainment in the Atlantic Federation. The cast of the show is a slow and rarely changing roster of Boppet characters, and a regularly changing cast of non-boppets. This outside cast changes as the members age, demographics shift, or become either relevant or irrelevant through changing social events. The rainbow colored cast of boppets is a cultural piece of the Atlantic Federation
The Quiet Girl
The typical Dakimakura is a 'quiet girl' something that exists for the purpose of being pretty to look at, soft to touch, and easy to take comfort in. These models are commonly found in the residences of people who have social anxiety, CogNet addictions, or other abnormal mental composition. This is considered abnormal in the Cosmic Era since it is a personality function, which is typically not adjustable through genetic modification, or tailored drugs. It is also considered abnormal because the Dakimakura is decidedly not sexually capable. This doesn't prevent tribadism, humping, and other mock sexual acts.
The cult phenomenon sitcom Friendless mocks the traditional ensemble cast sitcom by having only one actual human character, and the rest of the cast is made entirely of Dakimakuras. The lone character, the socially inept and physically awkward Harutu and his five dakimakuras struggle with a life in isolation, social rejection, sexual dysfunction, and emotional outbursts. Friendless is a popular show, and is considered a point of entry for people who are experimenting with technophilia.
Another Nipponese mockumentary, Deviants is an exploration of Western culture as seen from the East, with the main character being a dakimakura and her three human female friends. They live in New Nuyork, and live decadent lives of casual deviant sex, socially ignorant behavior, the the super patriotic militaristic bravado expected of Federation citizens. This is all done with the core concept that none of the other characters in the show know or realize that the main character, Shara, is a dakimakura, despite engaging in sexual acts with her, demonstrating the emptiness of the Western Soul, and the hollow decadence of it's culture.
Dakimakura are an extrapolation of how common and ubiquitous robotics and artificial intelligences are in the Cosmic Era. What is cutting edge technology today is going to be the toys and playthings of the Cosmic Era. This also represents the level of desocialization of people in the Cosmic Era. Kids don't go and play with other kids, they have android siblings, they have virtual companions, they have immersive reality games, and they have the dakims for toys. This establishes a lifelong connection with smart toys, thinking machines, and other synthetic intelligences, rather than with other people. Meeting new people in person can be a frightening experience for those raised with these machines.
Lacking people skills, it creates a generation unable to socialize, and thus, not reproduce.
This phenomenon is restricted to the residents of arcologies and habitats who never leave their home structures, who have the financial security to live cloistered lives, without exposure to the real world. To non-residents, or transient residents of these structures, this condition is representative of what is wrong with arco life.