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Arnim Zola created the ESP Box to house his consciousness. Zola had previously tried to recreate the work of Dr. Abraham Erskine, so that he would be able to improve upon the limitations of the human body, including his own. However he was unsuccessful in this attempt. Zola eventually concluded that it would better to construct a new robot body to house his mind rather than try to perfect his own.
An ear piece connected Zola's head to the Box. for the time he wore it, but in the future, the ESP Box would serve as the head for Zola’s android body, while a screen on the chest would project an image of his face. Along with storing his consciousness, Zola could transmit his mind into duplicate robot bodies if one became damaged.
By 1944, Zola had constructed a portable version of the ESP Box and wore it during his work on Project Master Man. When Captain America tried to stop the activation of the Sleeper at Castle Zemo, Zola used the ESP Box to control his Zola Bots as they fought the Captain. After the battle had ended, Zola turned off the ESP Box as he looked upon the broken remains of one of his robots.
- In the comics, the ESP Box allows Arnim Zola to mentally control his creations.