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"...there's a great affinity between writing poetry and SF."
- Dan Simmons

Auto-Scan  
  Automated control of remote surveillance drones.  

Eyes are hovering, sem-autonomous surveillance drones with cameras to send images (and guns to respond if need be). An entire system of a hundred or more drones could be remotely controlled from a central location under an auto-scan program.

I sent an eye scurrying off toward Saint Stephen's at full speed, which meant a wait of about twenty minutes until it topped the range. Another, I sent straight up, skywards, which meant perhaps ten minutes for a long shot of the same scene. Then I put the auto-scan in full charge of operations and went downstairs for a cup of coffee.
From This Moment of the Storm, by Roger Zelazny.
Published by Not Known in 1966
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