If you want to track the progress in this field, one point of entry, so to speak, is "soft robotics."
You might set up a Google Alert for anything on the topic.
One reason for soft robotics is protecting people where the robots literally come into contact with them. Asimov's first law: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
The patents that Disney has recently applied for seem to cover theme park characters, which are entirely likely to bump into people, however unintentionally. Think of self driving cars with very forgiving collision systems.
Here too, as with robotic sex partners, cleaning will be critical. The customer contact surfaces will be thoroughly disinfectable or disposable. Kids will touch the robotic characters, likely spreading the usual kid germs.
The current justification for the development of soft robotics is not harming any (other) fragile and hard- to- handle objects. Earliest uses will probably be in industrial situations where adaptive gripping has to be gentle.
That's the way to touch people.
Adam likes the company of small domestic animals and 82% of women. Enjoys long walks in the rain (in the Pacific Northwest, he'd better).