Johnny 5

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Johnny 5 is a robot film character that features in the Short Circuit movies.



Johnny 5 was a robot that was designed by Dr. Newton Crosby and his partner Benjamin Jahrvi with the construction made by NOVA Laboratories Inc., Robotics Division. Originally, he was designated as Number 5 and was built alongside four other prototypes that were part of the S-A-I-N-T (Strategic-Artificially-Intelligent-Nuclear-Transport) series of military robots that were made to be technology demonstrators for the United States Department of Defense (DoD). The purpose of these robots was for NOVA to showcase a design for a robotic soldier and an intelligent delivery system for nuclear weapons.


Personality and attributes

Johnny 5 is very curious and inquisitive with an almost insatiable thirst for "input" of just about any kind, but he is especially fond of books and television. While he started life as a military prototype he has a great respect for life and refuses to use his capabilities to harm others, even when they have no such compunctions towards him. He is very intelligent and inventive with an encyclopedic knowledge, but can be quite naive and child-like at times and can be too eager to trust people that he shouldn’t. His innocent nature has been taken advantage of on several occasions.

He has a fondness for old movies and comedy shows, from which he quotes extensively. Favorites include Jackie Gleason, the Three Stooges, old gangster movies, Tarzan movies and assorted television commercials. He occasionally quotes from sources with more gravitas, too, including William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon and various philosophical texts. His favorite books are Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio, probably because he feels empathy for the protagonists of those books.

He finds humans to be amusing and is sometimes frustrated by their behavior and their failure to recognize him as a sentient life form, but seems to like them on the whole and has several close friendships with humans.

Johnny 5 is currently employed as a Library Page by the Capital Area District Library.

Powers and abilities

After becoming free, Johnny 5 modified himself in several ways thus adding new tools to his frame that included:

  • As he has no desire to kill, Johnny 5 has removed his laser weapon and fitted a swiss army knife-like toolbox to its original mount, called a "utility pack". It contains miscellaneous pieces of equipment such as a Polaroid camera, a plasma cutting-torch, an umbrella, and a magnetic grappler on a length of steel cable.
  • A more practical hang glider has replaced his standard-issue parachute.
  • His original portable power source has been replaced with a lithium-argon liquid battery which can provide enough power for 500 hours of operation. This is supplemented with an emergency backup battery with an unknown capacity, but not much more than a couple of hours.
  • He has been fitted with a multi-frequency remote control which can operate almost any electrical device, and can control several devices at once.
  • His memory capacity has been increased to 512 megabytes "online", implying that this is his RAM capacity. Whether he has any alternate data storage devices such as a hard drive is unknown
  • His robot arms have been apparently replaced with new models that look significantly different. He has enough strength in his arms to hoist a family car into the air and bend steel bars. Whether he was able to do this with his old arms is unknown
  • He has been decorated with numerous stickers, including Greenpeace slogans and Nike logos.
  • In addition to the red lights in his eyes that activate when he is upset or angered, his eyes house a pair of bright, white spotlights that can light up darkened areas and even help him see at night.
  • He later added a new golden plating in the place of his old original Magnesium casing.



  • Short Circuit:

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