"The way you write science fiction is: you sit down at your writing machine and you open your mind to the first thought that comes through."
In the story, the tracer-birds are used to spy upon the novel's main character. It is noteworthy that Zelazny hit upon a useable way for UAVs (Unmanned aerial vehicles) to do solar charging automatically.
The earliest reference that I know of for a robot that can charge itself is from the 1960 short story Callahan and the Wheelies by Stephen Barr. See the article for the self-charging robot.
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SuperMeat - Crowdfunding Pohl/Kornbluth's Chicken Little
'Chicken Little, who would be sliced and packed to feed people from Baffinland to Little America.'
Martian-Grown Food Might Be Fine
'I donít want to come off as arrogant here, but Iím the best botanist on the planet.'
MARLO Robot Attempts Wave Field
'It is apparent that he will walk before his human brother.'
3RDiTEK Lifeblogging Headband Camera
'It's logging anyway - everything you see on duty goes into the black box.'
3D-Printed Biohybrid Is A Tissue-Engineered Robot
'The directing neurological tissue that forms the basis of the swibble is alive...'
Steerable Locusts Detect Explosives
Science fiction writers again provide a blueprint for the future.
No Human Drivers By 2040 - Israel
'It's been a criminal offense,,, to drive manually on a public highway.'
Graphene Ultracapacitor Airships For Heavy Lifting
'The war-balloons were to be kept for purposes of transportation of heavy articles...'
Uber Hires Robot Security Guard
'The robot studied the identification clip.'
Mind-Altering Drugs Administered Deep Into The Brain
'Happy to serve!'
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