The brains behind the influential Trojan Corp is it's billionaire industrialist CEO and founder, Helen Trajan. Born in a destitute Greece, chaffing under the heel of the Eurasian Alliance, Trajan was strongly motivated to achieve the academic standards required to apply to one of the state's tech universities. Her youth was spent working in places like the Greek seacologies, and tourist resorts where she saw the powerful and influential members of the Alliance come to vacation. Surrounded by brothels, frequently staffed with meretrix sex clones, the cloned marines and seamen of the Alliance Navy coming from the various ports and naval yards, Helen quickly grew to resent the clone industry and the military. This would remain with her for the rest of her life.
She attended university in Crimea, where she studied and excelled in communications, robotics, AI theory and design, and cultural studies. Intending to go into the robotics industry, she found herself being shuffled away from the R&D department and moved towards CogniComm and entertainment, as her superiors found her passably attractive. In less than a year after graduation, she would leave the Alliance and would instead start traveling the world as a 'robo-tinker'.
The Robo-Tinker is a craft profession commonly found outside of the Atlantic Federation and Pacific Rim Coalition. These educated individuals make their living as tinkers. With over a century of autons and robotics produced, there is no shortage of broken and damaged robots that need mending. In the second and third world nations, a tinker is a respected tradition, as working on various types of robots and their parts is part genius, part compromise, and part public service.
The Silk Road would take Trajan from Greece all the way to the edge of China and the ACPS and many points in between. She learned through hands on practice and experience how to better work with the machines. Lofty theory was put to acid tests and her skills were honed. She learned that many of the design doctrines that were in operation were not needed or important, and were vestiges of old technologies and practices long since gone. She eliminated these. She found others existed for the sole purpose of protecting the intellectual and technological properties of the original manufacturers, including programming subroutines rooted in advertising departments. These were also discarded. Her bare bones autons were lean and clean, neatly packed and grew to have their own minimalist aesthetic.
After her sabbatical, she returned to the West and to her old home in Greece. There, she took what finances she had garnered, had a dozen prototype Pioneer autons built, and started working. After working as a tinker and robotics consultant, she managed to lease a polyforge, which she promptly jail-broke, and used to print three more forges before returning it to the leaser. Her company remained small for several years, building a strong reputation for itself by creating some of the best and most cost reasonable autons and simulacra on the market.
The Apex Series
The Apex Series simulacra was engineered to be a replacement for women forced to work in brothels and bordellos. The lifelike machines were able to easily pass inspection by drunk and intoxicated patrons, and while expensive up front, the brothel operators found the machines were actually preferable to the sullen girls forced into the job. The machines didn't have qualms about doing extreme or degrading sexual acts, they didn't tire, and most importantly, as long as they were kept clean they never became vectors for disease. A small market remained, because there were still holdouts who weren't willing to replace the real thing with synthetic, and there were still women who found themselves in the oldest profession out of dire necessity.
The Apex series sold well, and attempts were made at pirating the design but most failed. The Federation manufacturers considered the simulacra beneath their tech level, and found that it's lack of DRM tech made it almost a liability to them. The ACPS builders found the design interesting, and continue to produce it in moderate numbers. It remains relatively expensive for the ACPS, as the cortex used by the machine is more sophisticated than anything they produce commercially and is on par with their military AI.
Trojan Corp would have likely remained a niche producer of personal companions if it wasn't for a singular event. The Hitome series of sex droids was released in Nippon and started a firestorm of controversy, most based around the seemingly adolescent stature of the machines. While a cost cutting measure for a mass produced machine, the design seemed to be made to cater to the most debased and depraved of perverts. This cast a shadow across the industry, causing a number of firms to collapse or retreat out of the market. This coincided with Trojan's release of the replacement for the Apex, the improved Climax series droid.
The Climax Series
The Apex series, and almost all other such droids on the market were designed with youthful features, typically mimicking a female in their late teens or early twenties. In contrast, the Climax series was physically much older and more mature in size and shape. This was done for a number of reasons; market saturation with teenie models, a rising demand for more mature and refined droids, and Helen Trajan stepping in and making the maturity changes. Culture is circular, she argued, and where the Apex series imitated was desired, it had come full circle and young women were emulating the machines. Trajan pushed for a more secure and confident machine, not geared towards nymphomaniacal submission.
Software wise, the Climax was only slightly improved over the Apex, but the personality profiles were completely rewritten. New algorithms allowed for third party producers to create personas for the droids, and improved interface technology allowed users to upload their own personal cathex avatars to the machines. This would be retroactively upgraded to Apex and other models produced by Trojan Corp. The Climax is 15% larger than the Apex, and 20% heavier. While most assume this is all cosmetic weight, the Climax has a much longer operational span between chargings, increased memory capacity, and is slightly stronger than the average human. (Apex and other models were noted for their lack of strength and durability)
With the increasing life-like appearance and behavior of humanoid droids, there was some concern about people mistaking machines for people, and people for machines. Two schools of thought predominated, one was to make the machines so lifelike no one could tell one from a human without asking, or even performing medical examinations, or to deliberately mark the machines as machines. A number of droid studios took different takes on this. The Tycho Conventions eventually solved the problem for the manufacturers by implementing the Humanities Act, banning the production of robots that are indistinguishable from humans. It seemed that the next trend in droid manufacturing would be a deliberate stylistic step backwards, adopting many of the limitations of the auton.
Trojan Corp adopted the use of selvage, or 'seam lines'. These are apparent gaps and spaces in the shell of the droid, typically along muscle groups, joints, and such. This put the Trojan droids in compliance with the Conventions, was stylistic and ranged from tribal fusion to ultra-minimalist. This also gave the machines a degree of modularity, making them easier to repair or upgrade. A user could change the specs of his machine with a quick service call to a robotics bay, rather than a major chassis overhaul formerly required.
The Sex droid is a staple of the Cosmic Era, an indication of how sophisticated technology has become, and how divorced from each other people have become. In the Petrol Era, the vast majority of people are involved in heteronormative relationships, and marriage and the nuclear family are by far predominant. With access to cybernetic companions, both in the virtual realm, and in the physical (analog) realm, there is less and less impetus for people to associate and socialize closely with each other. One of the major things about dealing with other people is that it forces changes on the individual, and the individual struggles between self expression and social acceptance. Surrounded by cybernetic companions and company, the expression of self takes precedence over accepting others and needing to be accepted by others.
Helen Trajan and Trojan Corp did something that was seemingly impossible, they took technological innovation away from military contractors and pie in the sky programmers. For a long period of time, the driving factor behind robotics wasn't the military with it's legions of drones and skeletrons, but sexbot builders. This eventually becomes a point of mockery between the two sectors, the typical skeletron has trouble with concepts like ducking for cover, deceit, and physical agility, while a much less expensive sexbot can perform kama sutra acts and function with a level of precision and control to engage in sexual acts with humans. The only reason they aren't soldiering better than the skeletrons is that the machines were designed by a pacifist who had no interest in more killing.
Detached from societal demands, man is able to indulge himself in juvenile fantasies and sophomoric interests. Society, no longer driven by the balance of the self versus the gestalt, finds itself circling in on itself, no longer punishing the juvenile, the knave, or the deviant, but instead exonerating them, and then venerating them. By the Cosmic Era, the nuclear family and the heteronormative pair bonding has become a social relic.