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"...being predictive, being right about the future, is not the point of any given story or novel. The point is about exploring as wide a range of possibilities as possible."
- Peter Watts

Bird-Like Robots  
  Robotic birds used in a stage play.  

I donít know of an earlier reference to a robot bird; see the other science fiction references below for modern-day robotic birds.

SCENE Two then burst upon us, and again, the exotic Mile. Flamingo robot circled around the stage, gracefully as a human being, performing contortions hitherto unknown, and unattempted.

Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre, and where they came from I never can determine. They circled the vast audiences, dancing, twittering, chirping, and from miniature photophonic cells echoed their music, until the vast theatrical coliseum was aflood with melody. I cannot, of course, attempt to describe the entire three-hour performance.

From Flamingo: A Drama of A.D. 1950, by Clarence Edward Heller.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1930
Additional resources -

Compare to to the robot bird from Invader on My Back, by Philip E. High, published by Ace Books in 1968, the tracer birds from Roger Zelazny's Changeling (1980) and little bird from Darwin's Children (2003) by Greg Bear.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Flamingo: A Drama of A.D. 1950
  More Ideas and Technology by Clarence Edward Heller
  Tech news articles related to Flamingo: A Drama of A.D. 1950
  Tech news articles related to works by Clarence Edward Heller

Bird-Like Robots-related news articles:
  - Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
  - Amazing Indoor Robotic Drones Mimic Dolphins and Whales

Articles related to Robotics
CyberOne Robot By Xiaomi vs. Optimus Robot By Tesla
Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA

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Science Fiction in the News

CyberOne Robot By Xiaomi vs. Optimus Robot By Tesla
'I shall introduce myself... I am a robot.'

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to 'help them out.'

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'... you had your trademark Lucky Dragon Global Interactive Video Column outside.'

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'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.'

Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
'A robot may not injure a human being.'

Virtual Co-Embodyment - Two People Control One Virtual Body
'... we were supposed to be forming five unit composites first."

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NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

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