The Cybertronian data cylinder is a device designed and created by ancient Autobots. Dozens of them were created during the Golden Age of Cybertron. They contained the sum total of information for a given subject. The range of subjects they contain information on include: stellar cartography, medicine, ancient mythology, and chemistry. When the Great War broke out, they were scattered across the galaxy to keep them out of Decepticon hands.
The device functions like a battery. The data stored inside takes the form of energy. When it contains the information, it displays a "full charge"; if the information is ejected, it is "dead". The device contains a security system that will eject the information on a red energy beam. The security system will activate if an alien, such as annoying human children, attempts to harm the device. The information stored in the device exhibits virus-like traits in that if it is received by a Cybertronian the information will slowly take over the subject's mind. However, the information can be purged before the information takes over the host's mind completely using the same security system.
One Data Cylinder was found on Earth and contained information on Synthetic Energon. After Miko triggered the security system, Bulkhead absorbed the information. It began to take over Bulkhead's mind, thus erasing his memories. After Miko purged the information from Bulkhead's mind, it was shot into space and lost.
- While transcribing the formula, Bulkhead mentions something called Perceptor's paradox.