|Galaxy||Milky Way, North Galaxies|
|Planet of Origin||Earth|
The Androids are mechanical beings that resemble people and cyborg humans. Most of the ones seen in the series were created by the evil scientist Dr. Gero. Most of the androids are said to have unlimited energy and immortality. Due to their inorganic nature, androids, or at least the ones created by Dr. Gero, except for Cell, also have no detectable life force unlike Saiyans, Humans, and other races, so they cannot be directly tracked using Scouters or Ki Sense. The only one that can be sensed via Ki Sense is Gero's ultimate creation, Cell, whose body is organic.
The Androids of the Red Ribbon Army were the inventions of Dr. Gero, in which were intended to assist the original plans of the Red Ribbon Army to dominate the world. Dr. Gero built Androids because mechs can be captured and used by the enemy while Androids can think for themselves. Dr. Gero's process of turning a human into an android completely halts their aging, thus making the cyborg immune to at least natural death or illness. Gero eventually decided to turn himself into No. 20 in order to become immortal. Red Ribbon Androids 13 through to 21 all wear loop earrings. After the army's defeat at the hands of Son Gokū, Gero began to study the Saiyan, his friends, and and his enemies in order to create more powerful Androids for the sole purpose of killing Gokū. In the anime, a second scientist—Doctor Flappe—was said to have worked on No. 8 alongside Gero.
Not all of the Androids were made from humans. For example, both No. 16 and No. 19 were entirely mechanical and the Android Cell was an amalgamation of a myriad of species. In fact, the entirety of the Androids spanning numbers 1 to 12 were entirely mechanical. This was done by Gero in order to give him full control over the Android and its actions, but Gero could not control their personalities, so he destroyed them.
In all, Doctor Gero invented three distinct models for his Androids:
- The first distinct model to appear in the series was the Energy Absorption Model (エネルギー吸収式, Enerugī Kyūshū Shiki). These Androids required the ki energy from organic sources in order to increase their power. They accomplished this through small circular nodules on the palms of their hands. Additionally, this model of Android could not be detected by those capable of sensing ki. Both Androids shown from this model had completely synthetic bodies with only a human brain—effectively making them immortal. While this model initially proved formidable, its flaws were glaring. If this model was unable to absorb energy from an organic source, it could run out of power sufficient enough to fight powerful enemies. Additionally, if its palms were ripped off it would no longer be capable of absorbing energy and they can be detected indirectly due to the depleting ki of the victim. Androids No. 19 and No. 20 were examples of this model.
- Called the Eternal Model Type (永久式タイプ, Eikyū Shiki Taipu; Viz "Infinite Energy Model/Infinite Model"), the second model was far more efficient, wielding infinite energy. This type was said to be more difficult to control. This second model was composed mostly of a human base which Gero then enhanced with cybernetic technology. This meant that they no longer required food for sustenance, though they still required hydration. As a model primarily consisting of a human base, the infinite-energy model Androids could also increase their strength even further by training. Even without training, this model is extraordinarily powerful. No. 18 was easily able to overwhelm Super Saiyan Vegeta, while No. 17 was initially able to defeat Piccolo, Tenshinhan, and the futuristic Super Saiyan Trunks all on his own. Androids No. 16, No. 17, and No. 18 were examples of this model.
- The third and final model consisted of Cell, Cell Junior, and No. 21. Consisting almost entirely of organic matter, Cell was an Android constructed from the cells of Earth's greatest warriors, hence his name. These cells allowed him to wield the traits of of the fighters that make up his design. Despite these obvious advantages, Cell's model was created incomplete, requiring him to absorb No. 17 and No. 18 in order to obtain this completion. These androids can be tracked by ki sense, though Cell proves, they in turn can also learn to sense other's ki as well as mask their own ki signature to elude pursuit, just as organics can. In the case of Cell and all bio-androids based on him, their organic ki is derived from the cells of powerful Saiyans, a Namekian, members of Freeza's race, and other lifeforms.
There are four types of androids seen in the series, according to their "base" or materials:
- Biotechnological Type Androids: "modified humans" and "cyborgs", androids made from an original organic (usually a human) as a base. Since they are human-based, they can become stronger if they train. Despite being referred to as "Androids", other than No. 20 they possess little to no robotic parts and the alterations to their being are simply a result of their organic matter being reconstructed. Though they do not need to eat, they do need to hydrate. Also, their cells deteriorate slowly, so they age slowly too. (Examples of this type are No. 8 (according to some guides), No. 13 (according to a game), No. 17, No. 18 and No. 20).
- Mechanical Type Androids: "total artificial construct types", "robots" or "mecha-types", androids which were made up completely from mechanical parts. For some reason, the totally artificial ones have a blood-like liquid crimson substance, presumably a kind of power oil. No. 8 (according to Akira Toriyama), No. 13 (according to a guidebook), No. 14, No. 15, No. 16 and No. 19 are examples of this type.
- Bio-Androids: Androids constructed either through genetic engineering or as clones spawned from other bio-androids rather than from machine parts and/or a human base. Cell and the Cell Juniors belong to this type of android.
- New Type Androids: a superior type of Bio-Android with a higher performance. The only example of this type being No. 21, who possess the cells of numerous humans, the Dragon Team, Freeza, all of the cells that Cell is made from, and also the good and evil Majin Boos. 21 can absorb others using Majin Boo's Transfiguration Beam.
Eternal Model Type androids have an infinity energy source and never tire.
After his defeat by Gokū on Namek, Freeza was rebuilt as a cyborg. According to the tyrant himself, these cyborg enhancements increased his power even further. He remained a cyborg after his death and even into his revival, until all of his organic body was regenerated by the regeneration technology of the Galactic Freeza Army.
In Other Timelines
Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Battle!! The Three Great Super Saiyans
The tenth movie of the Dragon Ball series introduced three new Androids created by Gero; No. 13, No. 14, and No. 15, purely synthetic models finished by Gero's subterranean supercomputer. Following the same pattern as all Androids created by Gero after the destruction of the Red Ribbon Army, No.'s 13 through 15 were created with one single purpose — killing the Saiyan Son Gokū to fulfill Gero's need for revenge. Despite their considerable powers, all three Androids met their end at the hands of the Dragon Team, leaving Gero's vendetta unfulfilled by the three new units.
In Other Media
- In Dragon Ball FighterZ, fully mechanical Androids are called "mecha-type (メカタイプ, Meka Taipu)", while cyborgs like Nos. 17 and 18 are referred to as "modified humans".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Dragon Ball chapter 350
- ↑ Dragon Ball Full Color: Androids & Cell Arc Volume #01, Akira Toriyama interview
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Dragon Ball Z chapter 141
- ↑ Daizenshū 7
- ↑ Dragon Ball Full Color: Androids & Cell Arc Volume #02, Akira Toriyama interview
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Dragon Ball chapter 350, page 4
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Daizenshū 7
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z chapter 149
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z chapter 143
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z chapter 150
- ↑ Dragon Ball Full Color: Androids & Cell Arc Volume #06, Akira Toriyama interview
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z chapter 169
- ↑ Dragon Ball Super episode 99
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z chapter 136
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Revival of "F"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Battle!! The Three Great Super Saiyans