Robocops could soon patrol streets after police in America called for the machines to kill dangerous villains.
Police chiefs in San Francisco proposed the move to take out suspects in "rare" circumstances using remote-controlled robots.
The plan moves us one step closer to the futuristic officers made infamous by the 1987 science fiction thriller Robocop.
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US cops want to use lethal force by robots if the "risk of loss of life is imminent". Opponents have warned against a "dystopian future".
One way the machines can cause deadly harm is by attaching a laser-guided armed device – which uses shotgun shells – to the robot. This can then fire bullets at the suspect.
Another method would be strapping explosives to a robot and then using it to blow up a suspect – which was a technique used in Dallas in 2016.
A draft policy from San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) says: "Robots will only be used as a deadly force option when risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers are imminent and outweigh any other force option available to SFPD".
But lawyers are opposing the move. Senior civil rights lawyer Tifanel Moyer said: "We are living in a dystopian future, where we debate whether the police may use robots to execute citizens without a trial, jury, or judge."
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The new policy proposal is to be debated next week by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Rules Committee and will define how the SFPD is allowed to use its military-style weapons.
The Robocop movie told the story of a police officer who is murdered by a gang of criminals but then revived as a cyborg law enforcer.
Following on from the Paul Verhoeven 1980s original, more than a handful of sequels were released.
A remake followed in 2014 that pitted Robocop against modern criminals, and that may come to be realised by real-world police sooner than first thought.
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