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Terminator, Phase One
October 8, 2008 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Cyberdyne. Works on robotic systems that shouldn't kill you unless you are named John Connor. And, maybe not then. Cyberdyne. Works on robotic systems that could actually help you walk. Does it help any that they named it HAL?
posted by dwivian (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Believe in ROBOT SUIT
posted by cgk at 11:08 AM on October 8, 2008


Meanwhile, Skynet is completed.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:48 AM on October 8, 2008


Yes, But where is my flying car?
posted by HFSH at 11:48 AM on October 8, 2008


@dirigibleman

Odd that the skynet wiki link doesn't have a "Disambiguation" link for the one in the movies - a bit scary in fact.
posted by WerewolvesRancheros at 11:58 AM on October 8, 2008


"Cyberdyne" is also the name of the corporation in the anime "Hand Maid May", which creates the cyberdolls such as CBD May, CBD Kei, CBD Rena, and CBD Sara.
posted by Class Goat at 12:08 PM on October 8, 2008


What could possible go)*30*@*LINE DEAD*
posted by DU at 12:18 PM on October 8, 2008


They should name one of their divisions "Omni Consumer Products", just to further convince me that they don't plan on ever doing anything evil with their powered exoskeletons.

I bet these would be really useful for police officers, particularly those wounded in the line of duty while patrolling high crime areas.
posted by quin at 12:35 PM on October 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


Before they can do that, they need to get bought by Weyland-Yutani.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:52 PM on October 8, 2008


Before they can do that, they need to get bought by Weyland-Yutani.

If they can beat out the bidding war by Sense/Net, Tyrell Corp, Tessier-Ashpool S.A., CHOAM, LexCorp or Frobozz Electric.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:32 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't forget Yoyodyne.
posted by Rangeboy at 3:07 PM on October 8, 2008


I presume U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men Inc is insolvent at this stage?
posted by pompomtom at 3:17 PM on October 8, 2008


There was a "U.S. Robotics" about 30 years ago. They made modems; I used to own one of them. They're gone now, though.
posted by Class Goat at 3:24 PM on October 8, 2008


There are many, many Initechs.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:29 PM on October 8, 2008


For all the joking around in this thread about the name, the actual technological achievement shown in that last link really is very amazing.

Sometimes late at night I see the abyss, and wonder if I've made any difference at all in my life. And I've taken great comfort from the from knowing that I made significant contributions as an engineer to advancing the state of the art in electronics, as one ant among the horde, moving the world one grain of sand at a time.

We did that, we engineers. We have made it possible to create things that permit handicapped people to operate better, or operate at all. We made it possible for Steven Hawking to continue to participate in the intellectual ferment of human science. Without assistive technology he'd have been institutionalized 40 years ago, and what amazing things inside his brain might have been locked up in there with no way to get out?

And we did this, we engineers. Robotic leg attachments that may permit people crippled by polio or arthritis or old age to walk normally. It may not seem like much to you, if you're young and healthy, but for those who will use this technology it's flatly a miracle, and a welcome one.

The specific design team that created this may have included a few hundred engineers, but hundreds of thousands contributed indirectly to it, creating the components and the development tools which this team used to create this particular application. And I was one of them.

Seeing that small light in the darkness, and knowing that I made at least some small contribution to it, has brought me comfort on those dark nights. My life wasn't completely pointless.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:37 PM on October 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


Robotic leg attachments that may permit people crippled by polio or arthritis or old age to walk normally

Yes. For the last decade, my wife and I have been debating about what technology will most shape the future; she favors genetic engineering, I still believe that cybernetics are going to be key. I think this is a step towards that goal, and we are seeing the beginnings of the kinds of technology that will change everything.

Also, back off-topic: Chaank (one of my personal favorites).
posted by quin at 3:44 PM on October 8, 2008


Steven C: yeah, but Tacoma Narrows cancels all that out.
posted by sixswitch at 3:50 PM on October 8, 2008


Oh hush, sixswitch.

Or are you condemning engineering as a calling and profession for the crime of not being perfectly prescient?
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:17 PM on October 8, 2008


What I do know is that on a per-capita basis, engineers make a lot more difference in the long run than experts in post-modernist literary theory.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:31 PM on October 8, 2008


Apparently Cyberdyne's design and marketing department has close ties to Apple....
Times like this make me feel vaguely sad that I wound up in the Humanities. I mean, set beside this, writing a really boss article on Late Antique religion just no longer seems particularly significant.
Or what Steven C. Den Beste just said, but more personal.
posted by AdamCSnider at 5:23 PM on October 8, 2008


Yes, Steven, and on per-capita basis engineers might also make a lot more practical difference than, say, theoretical physicists, but that's not why we make it possible for Hawking to continue living. We engineer because we like tinkering, Hawking thinks about physics because he likes physics, and literary theorists like literary theories. It takes all kinds.

apologies if I'm missing a joke. I am an engineer and thus cripplingly literal.
posted by JohnFredra at 5:31 PM on October 8, 2008


What I do know is that on a per-capita basis, engineers make a lot more difference in the long run than experts in post-modernist literary theory.

I say this as an engineer who (as only a somewhat-acquainted layman) generally disapproves of a lot of what comes out of post-modernism: It's still a good thing the ideas are being explored because the future is going to get way post-modern.

I definitely think it will be awesome if I am ever able to non-jokingly change my hypothetical business card or website from saying "Electrical Engineer" to saying "Reality Engineer." Already much of EE has little to nothing to do with electricity.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:03 PM on October 8, 2008


apologies if I'm missing a joke. I am an engineer and thus cripplingly literal.

I don't understand, how does being literal cause someone a physical disability?

In any case, if that happened to you, I heard there are some robotic systems that could actually help you walk.
posted by qvantamon at 6:44 PM on October 8, 2008


U.S. Robotics was bought out by 3Com, but apparently the name is still around, at least as of a couple years ago when I bought my wireless router.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:07 PM on October 8, 2008


I assume their main server is named GLaDOS?

Also: this is my favorite Terminator reference in a MeFi comment.
posted by Caduceus at 8:17 PM on October 8, 2008


AdamCSnider: Times like this make me feel vaguely sad that I wound up in the Humanities. I mean, set beside this, writing a really boss article on Late Antique religion just no longer seems particularly significant.

Just remember that as modern technology is the result of the cumulative efforts of generations of uncredited engineers, so are our modern implementations of universal human rights, representative democracy, etc. the result of the cumulative efforts of generations of unknown social theorists and historical scholars. The great ideas that shape modern society do not spring from a vacuum any more than great technologies do; both must slowly grow from a soil enriched by countless tiny contributions.
posted by PsychoKick at 2:59 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I suppose they have a energy affiliate called Shinra? How about a biologics division contracting with the government called the Humanidyne Institute?

I suppose I should stop now...

And engineering makes my socks go up and down.
posted by Samizdata at 3:53 AM on October 9, 2008


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