"...science fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
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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Augmented Reality Ship's Bridge From Rolls Royce
'... the immense, three-dimensional, minutely cubed model...'
Artificial Blood From Factories
This blood's for you.
Wrigley's Anti-Impotence Chewing Gum
'Chew one of these, Mr. Chip.'
Arcology Now Universal Constructor
'... the hotel direly wanted to exist.'
MisTable Fog Display Like SeaQuest DSV
Captain Bridger, a message is coming in.
Full-Size Invisibility Cloak Now Possible
'I donned it and drew its hood, and threw on its current.'
Bioengineered Muscle Grows In Mice
'Joeboys... shoulders bulging with grafted muscle.'
Self-Assembling Nanoparticles Move Like Tiny Gears
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically...'
PredPol Predicting Crime As It Happens
'All day long the idiots babbled...'
UK Internet Filters Default To 'Family-Friendly'
'People bought personalized filter programs...'
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