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"This is a predictive tool I've used: There are goals we've sought for ten thousand years, and we'll go on seeking them. Instant transport and travel, immortality (or at least longevity and miracle cures.), instant learning "
- Larry Niven

Metal BIrds  
  Surveillance robots that carried weapons, in addition to using their metal bodies.  

These are the heavily weaponized version of the robot tracking devices from the same novel.

On the platform the metal projectile had been joined by another; now a third landed, coming to rest beside the other two. Three cubes of glittering steel, holding tightly to the marble with clawlike grippers.

"Attention!" the voice repeated. It came from the first projectile, an artificial voice - the sound of steel and wiring and plastic parts.

These were instruments of death. And now they were out in the open.

A fourth landed with the others. Metal squares, sitting together in a row like vicious mechanical crows. Murderous birds - hammer-headed destroyers... The four projectiles peered around the room, looking and listening intently.

From Vulcan's Hammer, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1960
Additional resources -

The flying hammer-headed robots could attack in groups:

...he watched a mob of Healers struggling with a flock of hammers. Again and again the hammers dipped, striking and retreating...

"I can't understand how Vulcan 3 came to have such things," Daily said...

"It made them," Barris said. "They're adaptations of mobile repair instruments... It must have perceived the possibilities in the situation a long time ago, and started turning them out..."

A hammer dived for the window... "These are no random attacks; those damn metal birds are co-ordinated...

It's mechanical flying objects controlled by a machine buried deep beneath the earth.

These devices were also equipped with pencil lasers.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Vulcan's Hammer
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