An armed MQ-9 Reaper drone UAV went rogue over Afghanistan last Sunday, forcing the U.S. Air Force to scramble a manned U.S. aircraft to shoot it down. The unresponsive drone eventually crashed into the side of a mountain.
The MQ-9 Reaper is not a fully autonomous drone, but it is capable of some autonomous behaviors. For example, it can be told to loiter over a particular area, or fly over territory in a set route.
Although the MQ-9 Reaper is not fully autonomous, watching these armed robotic systems go out of control may remind sf readers (and movie goers) of certain cautionary tales. Consider the story of ED-209 from the futuristic 1987 movie Robocop.
(ED 209 needs more work)
"The Enforcement Droid series 209 is a self-sufficient law enforcement robot. The 209 is currently programmed for urban pacification, but that is only the beginning. After a tour of duty in Old Detroit, we can expect 209 to become the hot military product of the next decade..."
The term robocop predates the movie; it was used in Wanted in Surgery, a 1957 story by Harlan Ellison.
Orion's 'Skip-to-M'Lou' Entry
'A lightning pilot possibly could land that tin toy without power and still walk away from it provided he had the skill to play Skip-to-M’Lou in and out of the atmosphere...'