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From "An Abbreviated History of the Bolo":
The first completely automated Bolo, designed to operate normally without a man on board, was the landmark XV Model M. This model, first commissioned in the twenty-fifty century, was widely used throughout the Eastern Arm during the Era of Expansion and remained in service on remote worlds for over two centuries, acquiring many improvements in detail while remaining basically unchanged, through increasing sophistication of circuitry and weapons vastly upgraded its effectiveness.
The always-present, through perhaps unlikely, possibility of capture and use of a Bolo by an enemy was a constant source of anxiety to military leaders and, in time, gave rise to the next and final major advance in Bolo technology: the self-directing (and, quite incidentally, self-aware) Mark XX Model B Bolo Tremendous.
The Mark XX was greeted with little enthusiasm by the High Command, who now professed to believe that an unguided-by-operator Bolo would potentially be capable of running amok...
Keith Laumer (1925-1993)
John Keith Laumer was an American science fiction author born in Syracuse, New York. Prior to his career as a writer, Laumer was an officer in the United States Air Force. After war service, he spent a year at the University of Stockholm, and then took two bachelor's degrees in science and architecture at the University of Illinois. His first story, Greylorn, was published in 1959, but he returned to the Air Force the following year, only becoming a full-time writer in 1965. Laumer was extremely prolific and produced three major series and two minor ones, along with a number of independent novels. After 1973, however, illness meant that he published more sparingly. He died in 1993.