"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
This is the only mention of this train in the story. The aspects of it that interested me was that it apparently did not need the largest investment - a prepared track. There has been some discussion of robots that suggests that the advanced robots of the future will not walk like people (upright biped) but may have lots of little legs to make it easier.
When this train went over a chasm, it was held down to rails by magnetic induction - but you might as well when out of a tunnel.
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Army's New Bird-Like Surveillance UAV
'The prototype blue-bellied, gray-backed tracer-bird with the wide-angle eye...'
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'... dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'
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Like that pushpin device you remember, but supercharged.
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"They were half way home when a single flyer, hopping free in a copter harness, approached the little parade."
WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
'...moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.' Almost.
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