Johnny Five Reboots
I suppose the reason could be partially motivated by the success of Pixar's Wall-E, whose titular character bares some similarity with the 1986 military weapon and its endearing personality. Personally I feel the WED Teadwell repair droid from Star Wars is the true basis for both of them.
Variety also mentions, feeling a need to further depress us about Hollywood originality, that Short Circuit is one of many remakes on Dimension's film slate. Other projects include: Scanners (egh...), An American Werewolf in London (blagh...) and Hellraiser 3D (wait... its in 3D now?).