The machine tested its legs, they were still working. It stood and surveyed the immediate environment. To its left was a high rugged cliff – the rocks were loose and there was no safe vector to the top. To its right the waves lapped across a broad lake – its best chance of escape. As it approached the shore a buzzing sounded from the canyon behind it. It turned, but too late. A volley of missiles tracked through the air. Before it could deploy any countermeasures they hit home.
The US Navy has opened a laboratory to help test robots, autonomous systems and human / system interaction in a wide range of conditions. The challenging environments include aerial, sea, desert, tropical and others. All zones allow an unprecedented level of monitoring that the Navy will use to gain insights into performance and interaction. See the press release here: http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2012/naval-research-laboratory-opens-laboratory-for-autonomous-systems-research