Doctor Will Magnus is the owner of Magnus Labs, an artificial intelligence research and development company. Magnus was behind the development of the superhero team known as the Metal Men, which was made up completely of androids, all which were of his design. Magnus is a brilliant inventor and roboticist.
The responsometers were developed by Magnus. These were the devices that gave life to the Metal Men. Before developing the first responsometer, Will Magnus theorized that the then current science of artificial intelligence was flawed. He assumed that things were already intelligent and that "personality traits" might indicate the presence of certain metals in the human body. As a result of this approach, Magnus developed a microcomputer chip device he called a Responsometer.
Placed inside a specified volume of pure metal, the Responsometer can animate the material, and develop an artificial brain capable of independent thought.
Magnus used his invention to create a team of "living" robots that he dubbed the Metal Men. Each Responsometer reacted differently depending upon the type of metal it was merged with. As such, the Metal Men each developed abilities and personalities reflective of their mineral composition. A Responsometer records a robot's personality and memories, and can be downloaded from one robot to the next. Should one of the Metal Men ever be destroyed, Magnus needed only to download the robot's personality into a fresh Responsometer and implant it into a surrogate body.
A single Responsometer can animate metal and develop a conscience capable of independent thought. A Responsometer can also be programmed to determine a robot's abilities based upon its mineral composition.