Emory Erickson was a Human inventor, famous for the invention of the molecular transporter. In addition to inventing the device, he was also the first person to be transported by one. Erickson had two children, Quinn and Danica.
Emory was a good friend of Henry Archer, Jonathan Archer's father. In 2124, when Henry died of Clarke's Disease after suffering from frequent hallucinations and pain for years, sometimes not even recognizing his own son, the relationship that Jonathan shared with Emory Erickson strengthened and he became like a surrogate father to him. (ENT: "Cold Station 12", "Daedalus")
In 2139, Erickson attempted an even greater achievement by inventing a sub-quantum teleportation device. After Erickson invented the device, several men and women volunteered to test it, only to never be seen again. Among these volunteers was his own son, Quinn, who was a good friend of Jonathan Archer. Erickson himself was left paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Erickson blamed himself for his son's disappearance, because he continued the experiment, knowing that it was flawed. He was obsessed with gaining new-found fame.
Erickson however, soon realized that his son had not died in the transport, but was trapped in subspace, waiting to be rematerialized. He spent all his time trying to find out how to bring him back. After ten years, in 2149, he attempted to bring Quinn back. The process was not successful, and Quinn only came back as a deadly energy form, existing for only a few seconds.
In 2154, Erickson came aboard Enterprise NX-01 under the guise of testing a new transporter method, which supposedly had unlimited range. The evening after he and his daughter arrived on the ship, they had dinner with many senior staff officers to discuss the upcoming test. During the meal, Emory mentioned how he missed his friend Henry Archer and their discussions and he raised a glass to toast his late friend. However, it was revealed that Erickson was actually attempting to rescue his son.
It was discovered that his son's pattern he now knew to be trapped within a subspace bubble, the Barrens, before the pattern degraded irretrievably. Erickson was successful in retrieving his son, but Quinn died seconds after his father had transported him aboard. Although his son was dead, Emory felt that it would have been better for Quinn to be dead than "somewhere in between" life and death. (ENT: "Daedalus")
Emory Erickson was played by Bill Cobbs.
Before the character of Emory Erickson was invented, Manny Coto was highly aware that, whereas much had been revealed about warp drive inventor Zefram Cochrane, nothing on Star Trek had been about the inventor of the transporter. Coto therefore thought up the character, planning a story in which the inventor visited Enterprise with a hidden agenda. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 37, No. 2, p. 37)
In the script of "Daedalus", Emory Erickson was described thus; "60's, distinguished – and disabled, sitting in a 22nd-century wheelchair." In a scene description from the same script, Erickson was likened to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, regarding how Erickson was to support his own body weight at Enterprise's transporter console; the script described that action as "a little like Franklin Roosevelt would support himself on a podium during a speech."
Rick Berman highly approved of how Bill Cobbs portrayed Emory Erickson. In hindsight, Berman commented, "He gave a lovely performance in 'Daedalus' [....] He did a real nice job, and I was very glad to get him on the show." (Star Trek Magazine issue 120, p. 18)
In the first season opening credits of Star Trek: Discovery, the phrase "Invented by Emory Erickson" appears. The phrase appears to be associated with a blueprint that can be interpreted as a circular and vertical transporter that is similar in concept, yet different in detail, to the Lateral vector transporter seen on the USS Shenzhou. In the second season, this image is not shown, but the phrase again appears, this time associated with a more conventional Transporter pad.