Chapter 2Hunter-Killer

Unlike the lowly maintenance bot, the hunter-killer has become a staple in nearly every science fiction video game and film. Less intellectually sophisticated than a droid and not as heavily armored as a mech, hunter-killers are antipersonnel bots designed for maximum agility over any terrain.

While most people credit James Cameron for the creation of the hunter-killer in Terminator II: Judgment Day, I would argue that the first hunter-killer I ever saw was in 1979. I speak of Don Coscarelli’s dreaded chrome ball from the movie Phantasm. Like most hunter-killers, the chrome ball was capable of hovering and fast pursuit, and had a limited form of artificial intelligence as well as the single purpose of killing people.

While ...

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