"I love that computer science has made mathematics into something like an experimental science. I was never all that good at proving things, but I love doing computer experiments."
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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Your Martian Dream Home, Made By Fungi
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'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.'
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'I am the Guardian of Forever.'
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'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'
Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'
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