Echo is a multirole, adaptive robot with the most sophisticated artificial intelligence in the world, originally designed by Dr. Mina Liao for use during combat missions with Overwatch.
Switzerland (formerly), United States (formerly), Watchpoint: Gibraltar
Fires 3 shots at once, in a triangle pattern.
Fire a volley of sticky bombs that detonate after a delay.
Fly forward quickly and then free-fly briefly.
Channel a beam for a few seconds. Deals very high damage to targets under half health.
Become a copy of the targeted enemy hero. They cannot swap heroes for the duration.
Hold jump to glide while falling.
Keys displayed are defaults for PC. They are configurable in game.
Developed by Overwatch roboticist Mina Liao, the highly adaptable, advanced AI-driven robot Echo derives her personality from her creator. But after Liao was killed, her project was shut down and Echo placed in military quarantine. Years later, she was freed by Cole Cassidy and joined the new Overwatch in the fight to save the world.
To chart the origins of the Echo project, it is important to delve into the personal history of Singaporean scientist Dr. Mina Liao, one of the founding members of Overwatch. Prior to joining the organization, Liao was widely considered one of the preeminent experts in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, and an employee of Omnica Corporation. There she worked on the team that was responsible for the design and creation of the omnics that would later wage war against humanity during the Omnic Crisis. Ultimately, it was this expertise that led her to be recruited into Overwatch to help stop her creations.
Even that catastrophe was not enough to dissuade Liao of her firmly held belief in the potential of artificial life and its power to transform the world for the better. After the Crisis, she dreamed of improving upon the original omnic designs, but Overwatch’s restrictions on artificial intelligence research and development forced her to limit the parameters of her new Echo project. Instead, she created a multirole, adaptive robot that could be programmed to learn different functions—anything from medical support to construction—but had serious limits to its independent decision-making, including multiple layers of protections, fail-safes, and security to keep it under control. Echo was used successfully on test missions alongside Overwatch strike teams, but Overwatch leadership was reluctant to put it into full service.
However, the truth was that Liao had programmed Echo with a powerful, general artificial intelligence that learned by observation. After thousands of hours in the scientist’s presence, much of Liao’s behaviors (including her speech), were adopted by the Echo robot. This secret was known by very few, including Blackwatch agent Cole Cassidy, who had, at times, been assigned to guard the scientist. When Liao was killed in an attack on an Overwatch facility, Overwatch’s leadership feared the potential of such a robot without Liao’s careful stewardship. All development on Echo was shut down, and the robot was placed into quarantine.
Having been freed by Cole Cassidy from an attempted heist by the Deadlock Gang, Echo joined up with the new Overwatch team to defend Paris against the Null Sector incursion. For the first time, Echo is seeing action as a full-fledged team member. But as she is exposed to new people, new ideas, and new situations without Dr. Liao to guide her, no one knows how she might evolve in the future.