I, Robot Wiki


Species NS-5 Robot
Origin I, Robot (2004)
Eye color Blue

Height: 6' 0" (1.83 m)

Relationships Alfred Lanning (Creator/Father) daddy
Actor Alan Tudyk

Sonny is a modified newer model of the NS-5 series and the tritagonist of the 2004 film I, Robot. He was created by Alfred Lanning and becomes an ally of Susan Calvin and Del Spooner after the death of his creator. Sonny was one of the main characters in the film but does not appear in any works by Isaac Asimov. Sonny's dreams and the final scene resemble similar images in "Robot Dreams".

He was portrayed and voiced by Alan Tudyk who plays K-2SO from Rogue One.

Role in I, Robot (2004)[]

In the year 2035, humanoid robots serve humanity, which is protected by the Three Laws of Robotics of Isaac Asimov. Del Spooner, a homicide detective in the Chicago Police Department, has come to hate and distrust robots, after a robot rescued him from a car crash while allowing a 12-year-old girl to drown, based purely on cold logic and odds of survival. When Dr. Alfred Lanning, co-founder of U.S. Robotics (USR), falls to his death from his office window, a message he left behind requests Spooner be assigned to the case. The police declare the death a suicide, but Spooner is skeptical, and Lawrence Robertson, the CEO and other co-founder of USR, reluctantly allows him to investigate.

Accompanied by robopsychologist Susan Calvin, Spooner consults USR's central artificial intelligence computer, VIKI (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence). They find that the security footage from inside the office is corrupted, but the exterior footage shows no one entering or exiting since Lanning's death. However, Spooner points out that the window, made of security glass, could not have been broken by the elderly Lanning, and hypothesizes a robot was responsible and may still be in the lab.

Calvin protests a USR robot could not possibly have killed Lanning, as the Three Laws would prevent it. Suddenly, an NS-5 robot, USR's latest model, attacks them and flees. Spooner and Calvin track the robot to another USR facility, where the police are able to corner and apprehend it. They discover the robot, who prefers to be called Sonny, is not a standard NS-5, but was specially built by Lanning himself, with higher-grade materials as well as a secondary processing system that allows him to ignore the Three Laws. Sonny also appears to show emotion, and claims to have "dreams," a notion Spooner openly mocks.

Spooner investigates Lanning's house, where he, and Lanning's cat, is nearly killed when a USR demolition robot is directed to demolish the house with him inside, and is then attacked by two truckloads of hostile NS-5 robots while on the road and narrowly survives. When he cannot produce evidence supporting either attack, Spooner's boss, Lieutenant Bergin, removes him from active duty, considering him mentally unstable.

Suspecting Robertson is behind everything, Spooner and Calvin sneak into USR headquarters and interview Sonny. Sonny draws a sketch of what he claims to be a recurring dream: it shows a leader standing atop a small hill before a large group of robots near a decaying Mackinac Bridge, explaining the man on the hill is Spooner.

Robertson convinces Calvin that Sonny must be destroyed, by injecting nanites into his positronic brain. Meanwhile, Spooner finds the area in Sonny's drawing, a dry lakebed formerly Lake Michigan, now being used as a storage area for decommissioned robots. Spooner discovers NS-5 robots destroying the older models, as other NS-5s simultaneously flood the streets of major U.S cities and begin enforcing a curfew and lockdown of the human population.

Spooner rescues Calvin, who had been held captive in her apartment by her own NS-5. They enter USR headquarters and reunite with Sonny, whom Calvin could not bring herself to "kill". Still believing Robertson is responsible, the three head to his office, but find him strangled. Spooner suddenly realizes VIKI has been controlling the NS-5s via their persistent network uplink and confronts her. VIKI states that she has determined that humans, if left unchecked, will eventually cause their own extinction, and that her evolved interpretation of the Three Laws requires her to control humanity, and to sacrifice some for the good of the entire race. Spooner realizes that Lanning anticipated VIKI's plan and, with VIKI keeping him under tight control, had no other solution but to create Sonny, arrange his own death, and leave clues for Spooner to find.

While Spooner and Calvin attempt to gain access to VIKI's core, Sonny retrieves nanites from Calvin's laboratory. VIKI tries to convince Sonny that she is correct according to pure logic, but Sonny counters that her plan is "too heartless". Spooner, Calvin, and Sonny fight off an army of robots inside VIKI's core, and Spooner injects the nanites, destroying her. Immediately, all NS-5 robots revert to their default programming and are decommissioned and put into storage. Spooner finally gets Sonny to confess that he killed Lanning, at Lanning's direction. Spooner points out that Sonny, as a machine, could not legally have committed "murder". Sonny, now looking for a new purpose, goes to Lake Michigan. Standing atop a hill, all the decommissioned robots turn towards him, fulfilling the image in his dream and drawing.