"To go out on January day and run around on the beach under a golden sun makes a very great change in your outlook on the universe."
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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NASA Submarine For Titan
'Straight away from the shore it swam, seeing nothing but flecks of paraffin...'
Sketching Robots May Displace Starving Artists
Jeez, robots, leave us with something.
Three Clues To Limb Regeneration
'Forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers...'
Soft Caterpillar Robot Powered By Light
'the spread-out "puddle" shape she used for soaking up sun...'
Converting Low Temp Waste Heat To Electricity
'Our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'
Flex Robot Surgeon - Let's Hope You're Sedated
There are other insertion points, right, Neo?
Liquid Metal Terminator Development Hums Right Along
More research is needed - check!
Kiwi Dominos Drone Pizza Delivery
If you can deliver diapers, you can deliver pizzas.
MIT Robot Helps Out In Delivery Room
Oooee nooomaa oooee. And you thought today's doctors were hard to understand.
Self-Healing Textiles! Say Goodbye To Torn Jeans
'The constant renewal of the fibers, repairing any faults...'
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