Movie made: 1987 | Set in: 1990s?
|Robocop-like human-machine cyborgs||very low||beyond 2030|
|Policing or combat robots||high||2020+|
Scenario as action vehicle
Security / Robots:
The Enforcement Droid ED-209 is more plausible than RoboCop. Basic robots are already widely used in policing for bomb disposal and reconnaissance.
The movie suggests why the next step will be slow in coming: due to a technical glitch, the droid fails to recognize that the “suspect” has put down the weapon, and eradicates him.
Inadequate artificial intelligence will keep robots from doing much police work for the foreseeable future, though remote controlled units might plausibly be used to deliver non-lethal or lethal force.
More likely are combat units, as the requirements for smartness are much lower. Mines are very basic robot soldiers, after all, and cruise missiles are fairly sophisticated robot pilots.
RoboCop is a cyborg, a human-machine combination. His brain is partly replaced by computer modules, and he was designed to be subordinate to these modules.
This will be a long time in coming, setting aside the likelihood of society choosing to employ such a technology. Connecting computers to neurons is in its earliest experimental stages, and full information transfer or complex behavior control will take decades to achieve, if it is possible.
Medical brain implants may come first, to regulate electrical or chemical activity in specific parts of the brain. They could be designed to affect behavior, for instance regulating depression or anger.