"I believe in limited government, and the 20th century has been the century of government. The data is uniform. The government has failed at every single task it has set out to do, with the exception of waging war."
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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'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'
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'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'
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'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'
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'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'
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'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'
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'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'
Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'
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