1984’s The Terminator, along with its 1991 sequel, did more to make the average person genuinely afraid of robots than just about any other work of fiction—we’ll just pretend the later sequels didn’t happen. Part of that is due to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s imposing stature, but the idea of any robot that can exceed our own human capabilities is terrifying in its own right. Don’t believe me? Well, YouTuber James Bruton built a Nerf Blaster-wielding T-800 for brave members of the Human Resistance to test their mettle against.
If you follow Bruton’s work, then you’ll recognize the body of this robot as one of the two Performance Robots that he built for entertainment and education applications. Those robots usually have a much less sinister head, but Bruton has swapped one with a skinless T-800 dome for this “Terminator Nerf Blaster Challenge.” That head was purchased on eBay, and looks pretty darn close to what was shown on-screen in the movies. That was especially true after Bruton added some bright red LEDs. The robot holds its Nerf Blaster in a 3D-printed hand, and a small servo motor is used to pull the trigger.
The rest of this robot’s capabilities are “standard” for Bruton’s Performance Robot design, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. The robot is very robust and utilizes many heavy-duty motors for quick and smooth movement. It can be programmed to perform actions, but for this challenge it is being controlled by a custom puppeteering rig that I recently wrote about. Bruton can manipulate that articulated puppeteering rig, and the full-size robot will mirror the movements exactly. With Terminator: Dark Fate—the sixth installment in the franchise—in theaters now, this project was the perfect way for Bruton to garner some attention for his impressive Performance Robots.