A "Kino", named by Eli Wallace after Russian word "kino" ("кино") meaning "cinema", is a sleek, softball-sized, self-levitating orb designed and built in mass quantities by the Ancients for use on the starship Destiny. Kinos contain a vast variety of sensors, able to scan atmospheric makeup and record audio and visual input. The device's movement can be controlled by the user, using either remotes or control consoles on the ship, but it is also capable of self-guidance.
A Kino is comparable to a Mobile Analytic Laboratory Probe in its use as a probe sent through the Stargate to an unexplored world, but far more sophisticated. It is much smaller than a MALP, meaning Destiny can carry a significant supply without taking up much space. Its size also allows the Kino to maneuver in areas a MALP could not. Its ability to levitate likewise gives it greater mobility. Kinos are harder to be fired at than a MALP as they are harder to see. Finally, whereas a MALP is entirely remote-operated, a Kino is capable of self-guidance.
When a Kino is deployed through a Stargate, it automatically links with Destiny's computers, allowing the ship to track planetary details such as atmospheric conditions. It can record data such as audio and video for later viewing, but has a finite memory. A Kino can be directed to follow a preprogrammed course or simply engage in a standard search pattern, and is even capable of recognizing landmarks it is set to search for. (SGU: "Air, Part 3", "Darkness")
Kinos are incredibly rugged, able to withstand the vacuum of space unprotected, as well as close proximity to a star. They can also withstand extreme cold, less than -47 degrees Celsius. Despite their small size, Kinos can carry several times their own weight; a few dozen Kinos in conjunction with a board can carry several hundred pounds with ease, though the remote control is unable to guide so many at once. (SGU: "Light", "Water")
Kinos may be sensitive to moisture, causing the video filmed to be choppy with periods of distortion. While being otherwise relatively durable, Kinos are susceptible to damage, including projectile weapon fire. A damaged Kino may still function, however, depending on the level of damaged incurred. When MSgt. Ronald Greer shot a Kino on the Jungle planet, its flight capability was disabled but it otherwise functioned correctly. (SGU: "Time")
There are an untold number of Kinos aboard Destiny, which are dispensed by a station in the Kino room. As one Kino is taken from the dispenser, a new one is automatically generated, provided the ship has the power and resources to do so. (SGU: "Air, Part 2", "Water")
Eli Wallace found the Kino dispenser during the Destiny expedition's initial exploration of the ship, and quickly made use of them. He uses them to explore the ship, record messages for posterity (both from himself and other crew members), and to document pretty much anything he feels is noteworthy, such as his first use of the Long-range communication device. (SGU: "Air, Part 1", "Air, Part 2", "Air, Part 3", "Darkness", "Earth")
When the ship lost power, Eli Wallace sent a Kino on a general search through decompressed sections of the ship to search for an active console. Later on, when death seemed unavoidable, he set a Kino with recordings from every crew member into space in the hopes that someone would find it, incidentally giving the crew the first look at the exterior of the ship for a brief period. The Kino eventually moved out of range, never to be heard from again. (SGU: "Darkness", "Light")
Eli would later use a few dozen Kinos in conjunction with a table in an ill-conceived attempt to fly. He succeeded in creating the Kino sled, an anti-gravity cart capable of holding several hundred pounds while being easy to push, albeit impossible to remotely control. It was used to help transport ice to Destiny from Hoth. (SGU: "Water")
During a mission to a Jungle planet, Eli Wallace found a damaged Kino which contained a recording of an alternate future (filmed by the alternate-timeline Eli Wallace) where the entire team died from continued attacks by the local wildlife and a fatal illness. Ultimately, it was determined that the Kino was accidentally sent back in time through a wormhole connected to the past because of a solar flare. From the video, they deduced that the venom of the creatures held the cure to the illness. A team was sent to capture one of the creatures, but failed, so Lt. Matthew Scott used a second Kino to record a message detailing the illness and the cure, which he then sent back in time through the Stargate. Now in possession of both Kinos, the expedition was able to safely capture one of the creatures and cure the illness. (SGU: "Time")
A Kino was used during the hearing of Colonel Everett Young, who was suspected of murdering Sgt. Spencer, to record the due process. Later on, evidence found in the record of another Kino showed that Spencer committed suicide, clearing Young of all charges. Additional footage, known only to Eli and Young, showed Dr. Nicholas Rush taking the gun to frame Young. Eli hid this fact at Young's request. (SGU: "Justice")
A Kino was attached to the railing in the gate room to watch the Lucian Alliance when they arrived. The Kino was shot and disabled by Commander Kiva. Lt. Matthew Scott would later position another Kino in the Control interface room vent following the Alliance's successful takeover of the ship, in order to spy on their activities. This was used to learn their plans and then spy on them from the Hydroponics lab as Rush tried to force their surrender. (SGU: "Incursion, Part 1", "Intervention")
When Destiny docked with a disabled Seed ship, the exploration team deployed a Kino and left it on search mode. The Kino was eventually found by the aliens inhabiting the ship, and they disabled it. (SGU: "Awakening")
Behind the scenes
- Main article: Kino webisodes
Kino Webisodes are a series of 34 interdependent brief episode segments that accompany the first season of Stargate Universe. These brief segments are usually continuations of an episode that aired just prior to the webisodes' release. However, some contain content relatively unrelated to recent episodes.
- In Estonian, Norwegian, Danish, German, Czech and Polish, and more languages Kino means "Movie Theater" or Cinema. In Russian, it means both "cinema" and "movie".
- Kino is the name of video software. 
- Joseph Mallozzi has stated in his blog that he thinks Kino should stand for "Kinetic Interactive Navigational Orb", though this is not the case.
- The Kino is also similar in some aspects to Ball Cameras being sold to civilians and militaries alike in the real world. Minus the levitation and complex scanning, of course.
- Kinos were originally called "HOVERMALP" in the pilot's design.
- A new Japanese flying drone has video cameras that make it similar to a Kino, albeit bigger and no other sensors