Forward to a friend

NEMA's eiXtra: May 18, 2009
eiXtra: published by NEMA Hot Topics
On the Hill/Around the Nation
International News
Monday, May 18, 2009
feature story
ABB Robots Cast as the Automation System on "Terminator Salvation" Movie

ABB Robot Image - No. 1The visibility of ABB Robots will reach an entirely new level on May 21, 2009 when Warner Brothers Studios releases the new Terminator Salvation movie to North American audiences. In addition to Christian Bale and the army of rival Terminators, 18 ABB Robots will share starring roles in the fourth of the highly popular Terminator film franchise. 

12 ABB IRB 6620s and 6 ABB IRB 1600s spent the summer of 2008 on the movie set in a converted power plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Through special effects, the robots are arranged in an almost endless manufacturing line of robots on the Terminator factory floor, mass producing a growing army of the Terminators.

Jaffe Entertainment, a product placement firm, had initially contacted ABB and other robotic manufacturers to investigate the possibility of using their robots and to review their individual product lines. Academy Award winning set director Victor Zolfo and production designer Martin Laing were most intrigued by ABB’s product offering, and began working with ABB Robotics Vice President of Marketing Ted Wodoslawsky to work out the details and select the robot models.

“We looked at a variety of different robot manufacturers, but were most struck by the presence of ABB’s robots, especially the larger units,” said Zolfo. “They had the right lines and they provided the feel that they could actually be making Terminators.”

ABB Robot Image - No. 2ABB Field Service Engineer Erik Ryskamp, with periodic support from additional ABB technicians, spent 10 weeks during the summer of 2008 on set installing, programming, and operating the robots.  An ABB IRC5 controller was provided with every robot to facilitate the precise programming required for the various scenes. 

“Erik and his team worked with us very closely creating an incredible ballet with the robots, actors, stuntmen, and Christian Bale,” said Zolfo. “What the ABB programming system was able to get the robots to do was better than we ever expected.  The robots are very visible and instrumental in the final, climactic scene of the movie.”  

“Originally we were scheduled to be on-site for about five weeks; I think when McG [movie director] saw how cool the robots worked we got the chance to be in a couple more scenes,” said Ryskamp. “I really got a feel for all the planning and effort that is put into every individual scene.”  

Just like the human actors, many of the robots were significantly made up, covered with black soot to appear as if they had been in rigorous use for an extended period in dingy conditions. 

“The robots were really an evolutionary character,” said Zolfo.  “Like an interim step between the humans and the Terminators.”  

All robots have since been returned to ABB and have been prepped for less visible, but equally important future roles in real-life industrial manufacturing.

“It was a great deal for both parties.  Terminator Salvation got to use ABB robots and engineering expertise, and we get the exposure of our robots being featured in the film, with ABB logos prominently displayed,” said Wodoslawsky.  “They were attracted by the strength and durability of the IRB 6620s, and the lighter, nimble nature of the wall-mounted IRB 1600s.” 

We thank you for your cooperation in improving the quality of our materials.
Please contact Bill Green
at if you have any questions related to eiXtra.

Hot Topics

Flexible Use of Space in Educational Buildings
Alco Beldan explains how flexible designs allow for short term changes in layout, identified by CABE as one of the key criteria for creating excellent secondary schools.

Prewired Raceway Cuts Lab Installation Time
The Center for Life Science | Boston is the country's largest multi-tenant laboratory building.

Osram Opto Semiconductors Displays Students’ Winning LED Designs at LIGHTFAIR International 2009
While most students were writing reports and taking exams during finals week, lighting design students were worrying about glare, light distribution, and presenting a quarter’s worth of work to a panel of industry professionals as part of the LED (light-emitting diode) Luminaire Design Competition with the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) at the University of California, Davis.

[ top ]
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

On the Hill/Around the Nation

House Agreement Recognizes Importance of Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) issued statements by AWEA CEO Denise Bode regarding the agreement by House Energy & Commerce Committee Democrats on a national renewable eelectricity standard.

Indiana Fire Panel Considers Changing Building Code
State considers reinstating rule that some builders say is too costly but advocates say could decrease blazes.

[ top ]
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

International News

Green-Roof System Provides Local Wildlife Resource
A Zinco green-roof system from Alumasc has been selected for the National Trust Centre at Portstewart Strand in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

[ top ]
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Industry News


Mergers & Acquisitions


[ Industry News Archives ]

Standardizations Trends

  • NEMA Publishes Two Lighting Standards
    NEMA, on behalf of The American National Standard Lighting Group (ANSLG), has published ANSI/ANSLG C81.61-2009 Electrical Lamp Bases—Specifications for Bases (Caps) for Electric Lamps and ANSI/ANSLG C81.62-2009 Electric Lampholders. Both documents were last revised in 2007. 05/07/09


Market Comments, by Tom Robinson
The equity market has certainly been on a tear, but selectivity is in evidence. The economy appears to be trying to stabilize, but we may need to be careful in the markets. Any hint of bad news or concern could harm sentiment and the market. read more...

Register for upcoming NEMA events: The Electroindustry Career Portal - powered by NEMA
Job Title Company Name
Specialist Service I - Chantilly Siemens Building Technologies
Systems Safety Engineer General Electric
Click here to view ALL job Listings

To view this email on the web, go to

Event Calendar
May 2009
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Useful Links
Other Links
To Subscribe

NEMA's 83nd Annual Meeting: Illuminations Weekend, Scottsdale, AZ - Nov 13-14, 2009

IDEA EBIZ Forum, Sept. 22-24, 2009  - Register Today!

ESPG 2009-2009

2009 National Electrical Manufacturers Association. eiXtra is a biweekly e-newsletter for electroindustry professionals summarizing key manufacturer, standardization, and regulatory news. NEMA does not sell or release subscriber's personal information and will never willfully disclose individually identifiable information to any third party without first receiving your permission. Privacy policy.
Printer-friendly version | Unsubscribe