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"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

OSMO (Osmic Mobile Observers)  
  UAV with the ability to "smell" their human quarry.  

"...Many of our UAVs are equipped with smaller aircraft that can be dispersed in quantity. We refer to them as "midges". Midges have many capabilities. To the untrained eye, they look like sparrows. They even fly like sparrows, for up to 20 hours before they self-destruct. The ones we are utilizing at this moment to search the crowds in Mecca are known as Osmic Mobile Observers or OSMO's. They can zero in on individuals or groups of individuals based on long-term dietary habits."

"Any vegetarian will tell you that meat eaters stink. I stink, most of my crew stinks. Rich Muslims stink but with significant differences. Poor Muslims stink hardly at all. Three meals a day of eggs, meat, and/or fish, and we can send an OSMO right up to you with the passionate sensitivity of a moth seeking a hot date. We can also distinguish observant Muslims from drinkers of alcoholic beverages, which may or may not be helpful. We are discovering that a disturbing number of security, police, and Army personnel have imbibed spiritous liquors, wine, or beer in the past two weeks."

Technovelgy from Quantico, by Greg Bear.
Published by Vanguard in 2007
Additional resources -

Compare to the slamhound from Count Zero (1986) by William Gibson, as well as the mechanical hound from Fahrenheit 451.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Quantico
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Quantico
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

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Science Fiction in the News

Does The Shortage Of Human Inputs Limit AI Development?
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

Textiles That Harvest Energy And Store It
'The clothes and jewelery drew their tiny power requirements from her movements.'

LORIS Passive-Gripper Climbing Robot
'At the end of each appendage's eight fingers there are tinier appendages...'

Drug To Regenerate Teeth In Humans
'We want to do something to help those who are suffering from tooth loss or absence,' said lead researcher Katsu Takahashi.

Coin-Sized Nuclear Battery Good For 100 Years
'...power pack the size of a pea.'

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

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