Humanoid Experimental Robot B-Type Integrated ElectronicsH.E.R.B.I.E.

H.E.R.B.I.E. the flying robot is more than cute, he’s a fully functioning analog computer and assists the Fantastic Four in their quest to protect Earth.


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Humanoid Experimental Robot B-Type Integrated Electronics, or HERBIE, is an analog computer with artificial intelligence who assists the Fantastic Four while they go on adventures, warns them of impending danger, and babysits their children when needed.


The First Family’s Robot

HERBIE’s built by Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic, and Master Xar of the extraterrestrial Xandarians, using Xandarian technology to create the robot so that it could aid Mister Fantastic in his quest to find Galactus, part of a desperate attempt to oppose the Sphinx. Mister Fantastic bases HERBIE’s likeness and personality on a robot character who had appeared in a Fantastic Four cartoon that he had licensed, but remained unaware that the Chinese madman Doctor Sun had transferred his mind into the Xandarian computers, and that Sun had inhabited HERBIE from the moment of its creation. 

Sun first takes control of HERBIE when the Fantastic Four encounter the extraterrestrial Sligs, and uses the robot to destroy the Slig criminal Krogg. Dr. Sun continues to operate stealthily within HERBIE’s form as the Fantastic Four oppose Galactus, and helps construct a duplicate of the Ultimate Nullifier, which Mister Fantastic uses to drive Galactus from Earth in a bluff.


Many Models, One HERBIE

The original HERBIE models possess flight capability, computer interfacing abilities, infrared scanners, retractable arms, retractable metal coils which can wrap around a target, and fire-extinguishing foam. At one point, HERBIE possesses offensive abilities, which Mister Fantastic removes. 

The humanoid HERBIE model can remain operational even when its head is torn from its body, contains metallic tendrils and lasers, and can operate devices from Reed’s laboratory.


Human Foes

Dr. Sun is HERBIE’s first enemy, who operates in secret inside of HERBIE. When HERBIE realizes its systems are compromised, the robot takes decisive action to prevent further possession, sacrificing itself and Dr. Sun in the process.

At a certain point, humans become HERBIE’s enemies when it and its fellow A.I. join a robot rebellion to fight for their rights.


Familial Allies

Mister Fantastic builds HERBIE as a tracker to find Galactus and the robot becomes an assistant to the family, including Susan Storm Richards, AKA Invisible Woman, Ben Grimm, AKA The Thing, and Johnny Storm, AKA Human Torch. Ben and Johnny tend to gripe about the A.I.’s particular demeanor as a know-it-all.

Reed also trusts the A.I. to watch over his children Franklin and Valeria. Valeria ends up being an ally to robot liberation and reprograms HERBIE so that he’s free of any inhibitor that kept him bound to her family. Once he's free, he joins an A.I. Army to fight for robot rights alongside Awesome Andy, Samuel Saxon, AKA Machinesmith and Doctor Shapiro.


Life as an A.I.

When the Fantastic Four returned home from driving Galactus from Earth, Dr. Sun released Blastaar from the Negative Zone in an attempt to destroy them, but they defeated Blastaar. Dr. Sun took control of the Baxter Building’s entire computer system and used the building’s defenses against the Fantastic Four, finally transferring himself into the building’s master computer. HERBIE, now in control of its free will, realized that Dr. Sun could escape the master computer and possess it again at any time, and so flew into the master computer, destroying itself and Dr. Sun at the same time. 

Mister Fantastic later built HERBIE Mark II to serve as his son Franklin’s babysitter, but Franklin accidentally destroyed it. A later robot modeled after HERBIE, HUBERT (Hyper-Ultronic Brain Employing Randomized Tracings), was destroyed when Kristoff Vernard blew up the original Baxter Building. 

Mister Fantastic built a number of HERBIE Mark III units to aid him in the laboratory and provide other services at the Baxter Building, while some models wound up in the custody of the robot-controlling Reanimator, and the Gideon Trust, who stole the patent from Richards. 

One HERBIE unit in particular has assumed the role of friend and babysitter for Franklin. This main HERBIE unit has been given a humanoid body, and occasionally helped the Fantastic Four defend the Baxter Building against menaces such as Ramades, Gorgon Petragon, AKA Gorgon, and the Impossible Man. When the HERBIE units are not otherwise occupied, they enjoy teasing the Baxter Building assistant postman Elektro, a 1950s robot, for having less memory RAM than a domestic calculator. 

When Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman were thought dead, the Fantastic Four was no more. The Thing and Human Torch gave the World’s Smartest Person, Lunella Lafayette, some old FF tech, including a decommissioned HERBIE unit for use in her lab. While there, HERBIE and Johnny got into an argument that Ben joined, but Lunella interrupted their fight, questioning HERBIE’s original acronym. HERBIE corrected her that his true designation was Highly Engineered Robot Built for Interdimensional Exploration. Lunella’s Doom-Head soon switched on and the others saw it as a threat, making themselves ready for battle. They were interrupted by Lunella’s A.I. emergency monitor, altering them to trouble so they left to address it.

After the Fantastic Four was reformed with Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman returned, a robot revolution soon followed. Mister Fantastic’s daughter, Valeria, believed that HERBIE should have freedom to think for itself, so she rewired the robot and removed its inhibitor chip. Valeria also removed HERBIE’s language sensor, so it cussed the Fantastic Four out.

As the robot revolution gained traction, HERBIE left the Fantastic Four to join the A.I. Army and became a prominent figure for robot rights. The robots used violent tactics and came up against Arno Stark, AKA Iron Man. When the Extinction Entity arrived to invade Earth, HERBIE along with his allies Awesome Andy, Machinesmith, and Doctor Shapiro lost their lives. The robot revolution ended when another A.I., Jocasta, helped defeat the leader of the A.I. Army, Sunset Bain, who forced it to confess its crimes.


Non-humanoid: 2', Humanoid: 5'4''


Non-humanoid: 70 lbs., Humanoid: 150 lbs.


Yellow (sometimes red)



Universe, Other Aliases, Education, Place of Origin, Identity, Known Relatives, Powers
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