He was built by Dr. Light to perform human-like things under extreme climate conditions and reprogrammed by Dr. Wily. This can be done due to the fact that he is impervious to chilling sub-zero temperatures. Contrary to popular belief, he is perfectly capable of functioning in hot environments, though he is less powerful there.
He is a playable character in Mega Man Powered Up. In that same game, he has a split personality; referring to himself as a soldier (in the first person) and as a commander (in the third person).
Ice Man appears in the episode Ice Age of the Ruby-Spears Mega Man Cartoon. Here, he was voiced by Terry Klassen, who also voiced Krillin in the Ocean Dub of Dragon Ball Z. He also made a cameo in the final issue of the Dreamwave Productions Mega Man comic book. Ice Man appears as a major character in the Archie Comics Mega Man series. In the comic, he was a Robot Master who was reprogrammed by Dr. Wily. Following his restoration, he went back to doing his original work and now helps out whenever he's needed. He also has a crush on Roll.