Terminology

Unit: Most often, this refers to a whole robot.

Main controller: The housing containing a robot's power supply and control interface, usually back-mounted. As other manufacturers have their own term for such a device, the correct application of this term to Nanite Systems hardware is often a reliable shibboleth for detecting former customers of other companies.

Module: A program or library that is part of the software installed on a robot's main controller. 'System modules' are those part of the operating system, and 'user modules' are part of application software the user has installed.

Cortex: The robot's actual processing center, often housed in a cranial (head) compartment. Not found in all designs.

Digital Courtesan Program (DCP): A rental and sales program operated by Nanite Systems committed to pairing units with compatible owners. (If you are interested in this service, ask about it in the Nanite Systems User Group.)

Recreational: A euphemism for having a lot of sex without the intention of procreating. Do not show up to your DCP appointment wearing gym clothing. Unless you're into that.

Gynoids and androids: The term "gynoid" is derived from the Greek word γυνή, meaning "woman." Although it is commonly used for human-like machines of any gender, "android" is the masculine equivalent, from ἀνδρός. Since the proper neuter term, "anthropoid," suggests to most readers a machine designed to resemble an anthropomorphic animal, we encourage "synthetic" or "robot" as gender-neutral alternatives.

The exceptionally well-read science fiction enthusiast might note that the correct formation would be gynecoid (or gynaecoid in UK English), from the root γυναικ-. The noun gynoid first appeared in the 1984 book Divine Endurance by Gwyneth Jones. Both gynoid and gynecoid are used as adjectives in gynecology, but most likely Jones derived the term herself without knowledge of this. Amusingly, the first time a character in Divine Endurance uses the word "gynoid," it is in an apology for referring to a synthetic female as an "android," so one could say that conflation of the two words is as old as the distinction between them.

Cyborg: A human with embedded electronics, especially brain implants and limb replacements. The most extreme form of cyborg is informally known as a 'jarhead,' i.e., a predominantly organic brain in an artificial body. Although there is no clean way to draw the line between robots and cyborgs, they are often treated differently in legal contexts and so it is important not to conflate the two.

Companion: The primary operating system run by NS robots. Intended for civilian use.

ATOS (Advanced Tactical Operating System): A family of operating systems with military functionality. ATOS Cortex (ATOS/CX) is the primarily stand-alone version, whereas ATOS Elements (ATOS/E) is an add-on for Companion that provides much of the same functionality.

TESI (Tactile Excitation Sensor Interface): A device driver for civilian robots that registers inputs from high-precision pressure sensors (e.g. NS Epidermal), similar to the parsing model used by multi-touch displays. This gestural data is evaluated by Emotion, which is a continuous-time dynamical system that models arousal and sensitivity, and adjusts lubricant secretion appropriately.