RoboCop is a reboot that uses elements of the original and takes it in a new direction. Some distinctions and features are as follows:
- Rather than the ED-209 program simply not being quite ready for implementation in law enforcement, due to glitches and errors in the units or their inclinations to use extreme perhaps unreasonably great force, the matter is that artificially intelligent beings in general are banned from direct law enforcement applications in the United States, on the grounds that potential problems can arise out of the incapability of AI to understand what it feels to be human while policing human beings. There is also an android kind of robot, the EM-208, and RoboCop's body roughly takes the form and size of its chassis.
- Instead of being overwhelmed beat officers facing off with extremely dangerous and ruthless thugs, Alex Murphy and his partner are detectives assigned to vice crimes detail. The police department itself is overwhelmed more so in terms of unsolved cases rather than emergency or tactical response operations, and there is no situation of police going on strike and no mention of the Delta City initiative. Detroit isn't a war zone on the razor's edge of calamity in this version.
- Rather than Murphy being murdered and resurrected as an anonymous industrial product, having lost most or all of his life memories along with self identity, he is severely injured and awakes from a sort of catatonic state as a bionic man with full awareness of his former life. The transformation requires his wife's consent since the corporation doesn't initially have legal custody of him or his body.
- RoboCop finds himself confronting not only brazen criminals and slick homicidal corporate people but also corrupt police detectives, including a police captain (which is a position closer to being like a politician than other police ranks). In the film, it is noted that the latter puts politicians on edge.
- RoboCop is armed with a special firearm and a special taser (capable of lethal and non-lethal electric shock), and uses non-lethal force as well as non-brutal force to bring down violent criminals far more often than lethal force or crude melee attacks. He rides on a special motorcycle (complete with emergency vehicle lights) rather than a standard-issue squad car. His prosthetic body has robotic articulation quite analogous to that of the human body, and he takes advantage of his athletic dexterity by sometimes sprinting and dodging attacks. The motors, gears, rotors, axles and hydraulic components of his robotic limbs and neck are not extremely audible, although the weapon container located within each of his thighs expectedly makes a sound when opening or closing, while extending or retracting the weapon holster. His visored helmet can rotate away to the back of his head to expose his nose, eyes and forehead. His artificial body can be disassembled and reassembled immediately via a network of automated robotic devices, while docked in the laboratory where his maintainers work on him. He has wireless access to the police database and CCTV feeds throughout the city. His mind can be put to sleep and his body controlled remotely by his maintainers. He and his program have no explicit set of numbered directives to follow, but there is a subroutine like Directive Four, from the original, that prevents him from acting against "red assets" which include key members of the corporation responsible for his inception and maintenance.