In Isaac Asimov’s short story „Runaround,“ two scientists on Mercury discover they are running out of fuel for the human base. They send a robot named Speedy on a dangerous mission to collect more, but five hours later, they find Speedy running in circles and reciting nonsense.
It turns out Speedy is having a moral crisis: he is required to obey human orders, but he’s also programmed not to cause himself harm. „It strikes an equilibrium,“ one of the scientists observes. „Rule three drives him back and rule two drives him forward.“