A common cyborg, or "human-based" cyborg

T-850 portal

An android with living tissues

T-888 HUD

T-888 HUD identifying Cameron Phillips as a cyborg

I'm a cybernetic organism: living tissue over a metal endoskeleton.

A cyborg, or cybernetic organism, is a being with both artificial and natural systems. In the Terminator franchise, many Terminators are cyborgs.

The Series 8xx and 900 Infiltrators are made up of living tissue over metal endoskeletons, and have referred to themselves as "cybernetic organisms". Both Terminators and Resistance fighters have also occasionally used the phrase "cyborg" interchangeably with "cybernetic organism".[1][2]


Common usage of the term "cyborg" often implies that the biological components are human, although the term is not specifically that limited, a cyborg can consist of biological components of any living origin. Infiltrator models built by Skynet have used enhanced human tissue designed to prevent decay over prolonged missions.

In simple words, a cyborg is a creature which is half machine and half biological organism.

With the exception of human-based cyborgs such as I825.M, the I-950 and the Hybrid, all Terminators are androids. With the addition of living tissue they gain the title of cyborg, despite the fact that models such as the T-800 (disambiguation) are capable of performing operations without their living tissue with no detriment to their performance. (However, keeping in mind that the T-800 series was designed for Infiltration rather than frontline duty.)

The Series 1000 and Series X Terminators, both use mimetic polyalloy rather than living tissue for their exterior (and interior in the case of the T-1000). Therefore, most traditional definitions would make them advanced androids, not cyborgs.


Kyle Reese: The Terminator's an infiltration unit, part man, part machine. Underneath, it's a hyperalloy combat chassis - micro processor-controlled, fully armored. Very tough. But outside, it's living human tissue - flesh, skin, hair, blood, grown for the cyborgs...
The Terminator

Kyle Reese: (after Sarah Connor tries to escape from him and bites his arm) Cyborgs don't feel pain. I do. Don't do that again.
The Terminator

T-800: I'm a cybernetic organism: living tissue over a metal endoskeleton.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day

T-850: You cannot self-terminate.
John Connor: No, you can't. I can do anything I want. I'm a human being, not some god-damn robot.
T-850: (correcting him) Cybernetic organism.
John Connor: Whatever!
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

T-888: (looking at Cameron through its HUD, which analyzes her body and displays, "SUBJECT: UNKNOWN CYBORG ACTION: EVADE")
The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Gnothi Seauton

Charley: You know little girl, you freak me the hell out. On the outside you're just pretty as a picture. But on the inside... you're a...
Cameron: Hyper-alloy combat chassis.
Charley: Is that a complicated way of saying robot?
Cameron: Cybernetic organism. Living tissue over a metal endoskeleton.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dungeons & Dragons
Cameron: We're not built to be cruel.
John Connor: Yeah, that's one for cyborgs.
Cameron: Yes. That's one for us.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles, "Complications"

See also

External links


  1. Kyle Reese quote in The Terminator
  2. Unknown T-888 quote in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Gnothi Seauton"
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