ABB robots menace Christian Bale in newest Terminator film

June 18, 2009

ABB has scored a product-placement coup scoring roles for nearly 20 of its robots in Warner Brothers’ “Terminator Salvation” movie, released May 21. The 18 ABB robots, including 12 ABB IRB 6620s and six ABB IRB 1600s, spent the summer of 2008 on a movie set in a converted power plant in Albuquerque, NM as part of a mass-production “Terminator” assembly line. After scouting various robot manufacturers, set director Victor Zolfo and production designer Martin Laing contacted ABB, saying they were “most struck by the presence of ABB’s robots, especially the larger ones,” according to Zolfo.

ABB field service engineer Erik Ryskamp, as well as additional ABB technicians, spent 10 weeks during the summer of 2008 on set installing, programming, and operating the robots. Each unit came with an ABB IRC5 control to program and coordinate the precise choreography required for the various scenes.

Donning “make up” like the other actors in the movie, including star Christian Bale, the robots are particularly visible and “instrumental” in the film’s final, climactic scene, says ABB. They have now retired from acting, and await a less glamorous, if fulfilling, role in real-life industrial manufacturing, according to ABB. Download a trailer here to see the ABB robots in action. —[email protected]


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