Next time somebody dusts off the "It's the 21st Century, where's my flying car?" schtick, ask 'em if they think ships blasting robots with lasers is futuristic enough. Because that's what the U.S. Navy tried out in secret tests last May. Here's the UPI story.
The Navy loves the idea of directed-energy weapons, because warships can generate tons of power but have limited space for ammunition. Currently the state of the art in close-in defense systems is the awesome Phalanx gatling gun device, which basically fires a beam of bullets at approaching missiles. It apparently works well in tests, but at 4,500 rounds per minute the gun can only fire for a couple of minutes before it uses up all the ammo. Even the biggest warship can only carry a finite amount of 20mm rounds, but they can keep generating photons forever. Defensive lasers could even engage incoming shells, not just missiles.
Presumably it's only a matter of time before Raytheon gets together with the mad geniuses at DARPA to combine this technology with the cyborg sharks. Laser cyborg sharks are even better than flying cars.