AUBURN HILLS, Mich.—As Christian Bale, Sam Worthington and Moon Bloodgood star in “Terminal Salvation,” they are joined by 18 ABB robots (12 ABB IRB 6620s and six ABB IRB 1600s).
The robots are arranged to appear as an almost endless manufacturing line of robots on the Terminator factory floor, mass-producing a growing army of the Terminators.
ABB 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.
Like their human costars, 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. 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.
“Erik and his team worked with us very closely creating an incredible ballet with the robots, actors, stuntmen and Christian Bale,” said Academy Award winning set director Victor 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.”