The name Farnsworth. Edit
Based on the character's description, there are a couple of possible explanations for his name: (1) Philo Taylor Farnsworth, an inventor whose work pioneered the development of the television. This could account for the survey equipment transmissions. (2) Hubert J. Farnsworth, a character from Futurama. The connection here would definitely be the frailty that comes from age, the science fiction setting of the show, and the scientific vocation.