39

Star Trek TNG's Data was an andriod created by Noonien Soong, who was the Albert Einstein of robots. He was a busy guy and I think I can count about 4 total robots.

Does anyone know all of the Data-style robots that were mentioned in the series?

  • 4? Data, Lor, B-4? Who else? – DampeS8N Jan 11 '11 at 22:51
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    The old lady, ;) – Mark Rogers Jan 11 '11 at 22:52
  • I just facepalmed, you are right. – DampeS8N Jan 11 '11 at 23:04
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    For what it's worth, when I was pitching to ST:TNG, which was during the early part of season 5 (before they kicked out all the freelancers so they could push and get "Unification" done quickly), my agent (who got Ron Moore his start) had told me, before pitching, "There are NO other androids. Jeri Taylor feels strongly that Data is the only Soongian android." Lor was essentially "gone" at that point. (Of course, after giving that rule to freelancers, they had to break it in every way they could.) – Tango May 17 '11 at 3:44
  • So much confusion between the answers here. Expanded mine, to hopefully explain it all. – Iszi Sep 17 '12 at 16:13
25

Five.

Four that were directly built by Noonien Soong:

There was also Lal, created as a partial clone of Data's own brain (his "Daughter").

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    On the other hand one could make a very good argument that there are only 4, because that movie with B-4 was stupid. – Matthew Scouten Apr 7 '11 at 4:16
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    Was B-4 actually created by Soong? I always kinda got the impression from the movie that he was a crude replica of a Soong-bot, created by Shinzon to be used as a lure. Were his Soong roots expounded upon in the novelization or ? I didn't see anything in the movie that gave that impression other than the obvious visual similarities, which would be easy enough to copy. – eidylon Oct 3 '11 at 17:09
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    I have mostly blocked out that movie, so you might be right. I had the impression that he was a very early prototype. – Matthew Scouten Oct 3 '11 at 18:24
  • @eidylon It wasn't explicitly stated either way. – Xantec Oct 3 '11 at 18:30
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    Memory Alpha's article you're pointing to for Juliana Tainer in second paragraph has: "Tainer assisted Soong in his work on artificial lifeforms, and helped create the android Data, as well as his four predecessors, including Lore and B-4". Either I'm lack of coffee or this means, that there were six androids: Tainer, Data and four predecessors... – trejder Jan 8 '15 at 20:10
21
+100

It's quite amazing how many different numbers we have here, all attempting to address the same question. Some are more or less correct, some not at all, and some are correct within the scope defined by the answer but not the question.

This confusion seems to stem from the fairly wide variety in the natures and origins of all the Soong-type androids. In hopes of clearing this up, I'll try to cover this question from all angles.


All complete androids built by Soong, and seen in Star Trek canon - Four

I'm starting here, with the narrowest category. This includes only the androids built by Soong himself, which became fully functional, and are actually seen in Star Trek movies and TV series. This list includes the following:

All Data-like androids mentioned in Star Trek canon - Five

Slightly narrower in some ways, yet broader than others, this category is meant to cover all androids which Star Trek viewers would easily recognize as being "Data-like".

This category includes only androids which actually have similar design and programming as Data. These androids have a few specific features that make them unique from the others.

  • They are physically modeled after Soong himself. (Making them physically Data-like)
  • If they are fully functional, they are programmatically Data-like if:
    • They have their own identity which is fully pre-programmed.
    • They are programmed to know that they are androids

This excludes Juliana Soong, because she was not programmed to be aware of her true nature and her identity was not really her own. Also, she looked nothing like Data.

This includes the prototypes prior to B4 because we can reasonably assume they were also physically modeled after Soong, and the fact that they were not fully functional excludes them from the other requirements.

This excludes Lal, because Data deliberately built her so that she could realize her identity, even including her species and gender appearance, on her own - it was not pre-programmed as with the others.

This list includes:

  • Unnamed prototype #1
  • Unnamed prototype #2
  • B-4
  • Lore
  • Data

All Soong-type androids mentioned in Star Trek canon - Seven

This is the most all-encompassing category of Soong-type androids. It covers all Soong-type androids created by Soong himself, which would include Data and all of his predecessors as well as Juliana Soong. This also includes Lal, who was later created by Data.


All of the lists above are based on information taken from Memory Alpha. Aside from those already linked, there is another article which is important - TNG Season 7, Episode 10: Inheritance. It is important, because it is in this episode that we discover that there were three prototypes created prior to Lore. (If you want to review the episode, the pertinent discussion takes place around 20 minutes in.) These three are not explicitly named in any episode or movie, but they would presumably include B-4. This is why some of the above lists include two unnamed prototypes. Unfortunately, we never canonically find out much else about these prototypes other than that they existed.

16

Seven or Eight, depending on definition.

Seven: If you count the 4 prototypes before Lore and Data, and add the wife-bot. Eight: If you count Lal.

From Memory-alpha on the nature of B-4

He was one of four failed prototypes before the construction of Lore was successful. (TNG: "Inheritance")

From Memory-alpha on Juliana Trainer

O'Donnell assisted Soong in his work on artificial lifeforms, and helped create the android Data, as well as his five predecessors, including Lore and B-4.

From this we can deduce that there are 7 Soong-type androids created by Dr Soong (Data + 5 predecessors + Juliana's copy), with Lal another Soong-type created by Data making it 8 in total.

  • It strikes me that one of the quotes must be wrong. I think it is the first one, though I don't know enough of star trek to be sure. It makes more sence that B-4 is one of 4 prototypes. – AncientSwordRage Feb 1 '12 at 15:43
  • The current Memory Alpha page says "four predecessors". Also, your own numbers don't appear to add up. You start off by saying "Seven", but then you only provide a list that includes six - saying it's "Eight" if you count one more. It all does sort-of add up in your last paragraph, but perhaps a little clarification is in order. – Iszi Sep 17 '12 at 13:56
  • @Iszi is that clearer? – AncientSwordRage Sep 17 '12 at 14:10
  • Hehe. "Wife-bot" is amusing, and does help clear it up a bit. Check out my answer though. It seems the Memory Alpha articles on Juliana Tainer and Soong-type android are in conflict. I think I'll give Inheritance a quick watch now to find out the correct number. – Iszi Sep 17 '12 at 14:13
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    Looks like the Memory Alpha articles aren't in conflict after all - I was just reading them wrong. Your quotes however, are incorrect - both per cannon and per the current version of the Memory Alpha articles. (I prominse, I had nothing to do with it.) The statement in Inheritance (and, in the current B-4 article) is that there were three failed prototypes prior to Lore. The statement in Tainer's article is that there were four predecessors to Data, which would include Lore. – Iszi Sep 17 '12 at 14:31
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Four. From Wikipedia:

Noonian Soong: Human cyberneticist who created Data, played by Brent Spiner, who also plays the role of Data. Soong has created four complete androids in the known Star Trek universe, Data, Lore, and B-4 (all three of the same design), and a replica of his dead wife Juliana, which is technically superior to his previous models. Early in Dr. Soong's career he was widely hailed as Earth's foremost robotic scientist, but he became a recluse after apparently failing to create a positronic brain and was thought to have been killed with other colonists on Omicron Theta. The scientist actually settled on Terlina III and summoned Data there to fit him with his final invention, an emotion chip. He inadvertently also summoned Data's brother, Lore, who killed him after obtaining the chip.

  • While not really inaccurate, this answer doesn't quite address the question as stated. The question asks for "all Data-style androids mentioned in the series". While Soong himself only created four complete androids, there were several incomplete prototypes mentioned as well as one complete Soong-type android created by Data. – Iszi Sep 17 '12 at 14:22
1

Noonien Soong built a total of six androids. 2 Unnamed prototypes, B4, Lore, Data and then Julianna Soong (copy).

0

Eight, Three prototypes that died, Lore, Data, his wife Juliana and Data's daughter Lal, made by him. This information is from the 1999 edition of the Star Trek encyclopedia. B-4 is the eighth, an unknown fourth prototype made. I believe that the first three prototypes are now with Starfleet robot research and the theft of one of these prototypes would be known by the Enterprise crew.

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    Why do you believe that they're now with Starfleet? – Mithrandir Sep 7 '17 at 6:48
  • Okay maybe they don't have them but if Dr Soong only left Data and Lore behind on the planet we would have no idea of how many prototypes he had made. – user89628 Sep 8 '17 at 3:53

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