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"Evolutionary success ... is going to absolutely require mobility on, at a minimum, an interplanetary scale. We either go or we die out."
- Richard Morgan

Robot Cop  
  A robotic police officer.  

As far as I know, the first use of the phrase "robot cop".

"My father," Tanya Hillson said to Martin, "was a pacifist. He hated war as no one has ever hated it on earth. All the senseless killing, all the senseless destruction, the loss of lives, the turning back the clock he hated all of this. His purpose in designing the robots was to stop war forever."

Martin said nothing. A pacifist-minded genius had constructed some remarkable robots, to prevent war. How the robots were to prevent war, Martin did not see.

"The robots are to be a world-wide police force," Tanya Hillson triumphantly explained. "They are to be grouped into an army, the best army the world has ever seen. They can fight in the desert, in the jungle, in the Arctic circle, with equal ease. They don't catch fever, they don't run out of supplies and have to stop, they don't get hungry, and they don't become tired. Each robot can carry enough concentrated fuel to last for months. Certain specialized ones, serving as repair robots, accompany the army. They're armored so heavily that an ordinary rifle bullet won't harm them. And most important of all we are now developing special airplanes for them, huge ships bigger even than your flying fortresses, armored with steel and armed with fast-firing, long-range cannon. No plane in existence can stand against them."

"Um," Martin said thoughtfully.

"There are to be five robot armies, complete with every weapon an army needs, located in each of the continents. Their purpose will be to keep the peace. Any nation that starts a war will instantly find a robot army moving against it, robot airplanes in the sky above it. The nation will be warned. If it persists in making war, it will be utterly destroyed." "...But what if your super-policemen go around inviting resistance? Suppose I am walking down the street and a robot cop is coming from the other direction. I am well within my rights in walking down the street. The cop refuses to step aside and let me pass. What is going to happen then?"

"That is a silly question," Tanya Hillson snapped. "You seem to have little understanding of the real nature of the robots."

Technovelgy from Pacifist of Hell's Island, by R.M. Williams.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1943
Additional resources -

The oldest direct reference to the phrase "robot cop" is probably from Modern Mechanix in 1935:


(Speeders are timed by Robot Cop)

RUTHLESS speeders, driving with one eye on the rear vision mirror for signs of a trailing traffic officer, now have a new enemy to watch out for, a robot speed meter which instantly gauges the speed of a car on the highway.

The speed meter is small, and can easily be moved from one place to another. On one side of the road is an apparatus which directs two parallel beams of light, invisible to the driver, upon a mechanism on the opposite side of the road. The length of time taken by a car to intercept both beams of light is shown in terms of miles per hour on the meter.

The speed trap is the invention of Dr. Harry Silva, head of the psychology laboratory at the Massachusetts State College, and already attracting the attention of police and traffic officials all over the country. Tests prove it operates with negligible error.

Compare to R. Daneel Olivaw, robot policeman from Caves of Steel (1953) by Isaac Asimov, the undercover detective robot from The Velvet Glove (1956) by Harry Harrison, the precogs from The Minority Report (1956) by Philip K. Dick and the Pry-Vie robotic detective from Clans of the Alphane Moon (1964) by Philip K. Dick.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Pacifist of Hell's Island
  More Ideas and Technology by R.M. Williams
  Tech news articles related to Pacifist of Hell's Island
  Tech news articles related to works by R.M. Williams

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