Professor Robin Mackenzie, director of Law and Medical Ethics and Kent Law School, claimed robotics will become so advanced they will become "human-like" and feel pain and suffering.
She told Techexplore: "Humans need for intimacy will drive the design and manufacture of sentient, self-aware, male and female sexbots.
"These sexbots will be able to be customised to become their purchasers' perfect partners.
"They will be like us in some ways but not in others.
"Sexbots will be customised to love us, acquire deep knowledge of us as part of the self-customisation process and will be able to suffer."
It comes after new research found married people who hook up with a sex robot on the sly are still considered cheats.
The University of Helsinki in Finland asked 432 people what they thought of bonking with an electronic sex doll or paying for a prostitute, New Scientist magazine reported.
Married folk using robots were condemned — but not as much as those using brothels. Single people doing either were less likely to be frowned upon.
Robot interaction expert Thomas Arnold, of Tufts University in Massachusetts, said: "Relationships seem to judge the use sex robots.
"The more you think about it as something that could compete against or interfere with your relationships, that seems to be what morally object to."
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