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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Scuttle-bot  
  An all-purpose surveillance robot that climbed rather than flew.  

I like to think that the clever name of this robot is back-formed from "scuttlebutt", a nautical term for gossip or rumors. The scuttlebutt was a ship's equivalent to a water cooler, a cask of fresh water for drinking.

A scuttle-bot could climb a tree and anchor itself, just listening and watching, sniffing and measuring, constantly reporting back. Usually scuttle-bots worked in teams, with one on the ground and several more at various heights all the way up.
Technovelgy from Hella, by David Gerrold.
Published by DAW Books in 2020
Additional resources -

Compare to the robot tracking device from Vulcan's Hammer (1960) by Philip K. Dick, the robot snake spy from Mariposa (2009) by Greg Bear and the tracer bird from Changeling (1980) by Roger Zelazny.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Hella
  More Ideas and Technology by David Gerrold
  Tech news articles related to Hella
  Tech news articles related to works by David Gerrold

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