NOVA Laboratories Incorporated was a robotics laboratory company whose robotics division located in Damon, Washington which was contracted by the military during the Cold War to produce the Strategic Artificially Intelligent Nuclear Transport (S.A.I.N.T. for short) as a way to greatly reduce human casualties in the field. Unfortunately for them, when lightning struck one of the S.A.I.N.T.s and shocked it with a massive power surge, it gained sapience and its internal memory was completely erased. They are later tipped to his turning up in Astoria, Oregon, but despite their attempts, all of NOVA's attempts to retrieve the rogue unit, known as Number 5, failed miserably, with them only succeeding in temporarily deactivating and capturing "him" before his inevitable escape again.
While NOVA's CEO Dr. Howard Marner continues to seek Number 5's capture of the robot intact due to its $11,002,076.17 price tag, his security chief Captain Skroeder disobeys his orders out of his own foolish sense of personal pride and destroys what NOVA believes to be Number 5, though it is in fact a decoy.
With Number 5's escape, NOVA no longer seeks him out, even when the evidence of his survival emerges, indicating that they may have been shut down or simply did not choose to continue pursuit. Ultimately, one of their S.A.I.N.T. creations would become the United States' (and presumably the world's) first official robotic citizen, with full rights.