When Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Terminator” character said “I’ll be back,” this probably wasn’t what he had in mind.
The actor, businessman and former governor of California is suing a robotics company for $10 million, after the Russia-based business decided to use his name and likeness for one of its machines.
Schwarzenegger’s lawsuit against the tech startup, called Promobot, alleges that the robot lookalike “diminishes his hard-earned and well-deserved reputation as a major motion picture star,” according to TMZ.
The robot isn’t just meant to look like Schwarzenegger — it also has his name. Promobot advertises the creation on its site as a “companion robot,” one of several that emulates the appearance of world-famous celebrities.
“Marilyn Monroe will meet guests, William Shakespeare will tell children fairytales, and Cristiano Ronaldo will manage the smart home system,” Promobot’s website says of its “Robo-C” line. “‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’ will meet your guests, turn on the light and turn the kettle on.”
According to Digital Trends, the Schwarzenegger robot has a few traits that differ from its human counterpart — including wearing glasses and speaking in a British accent. But it seems as though Promobot wanted its “companion” to replicate the actor in several ways, as it reportedly asked him to pose for a photo they could use on their site.
Schwarzenegger denied that request, according to TMZ, and his lawsuit has now asked that the company stops rolling out its version of “Arnold” for public events and conferences. Promobot originally agreed to that request, but Vice reported that the startup later rolled out the companion bot for a display at the New York Toy Fair.
But the company seems to have backed off on sales for the time being, as Vice also reported that Promobot has stopped selling the Schwarzenegger model in its online store. Other celebrity-based models, like Christiano Ronald and Albert Einstein, are still being promoted.
“The robot is a completely anthropomorphic machine,” Promobot’s website says regarding its companions. “It copies human facial expressions: can move its eyes, eyebrows, lips and other ‘muscles,’ and also keep the conversation going and answer questions.”
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