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"The point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven

Dornier  
  A small surveillance drone capable of hovering in midair.  

And Angie fell to her knees in the sand, the sound of the surf crashing around her, dazzled by the sun. The Dornier was hovering nervously in front of her, two meters away. The pain receded instantly. She wiped her bloodied hands on the sleeves of the blue jacket. The remote's cluster of cameras whirred and rotated.

"It's all right," she managed. "A nosebleed. It's only a nosebleed..." The Dornier darted forward, then back. "I'm going back to the house now. I'm fine." It rose smoothly out of sight.

From Mona Lisa Overdrive, by William Gibson.
Published by Bantam in 1988
Additional resources -

The name of this item is probably derived from an experimental vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft, the Dornier DO-31, manufactured in Germany in the late 1960's. These were not surveillance vehicles; they were intended for small team combat transport.

(Thanks to a reader for some background on this item.)

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Mona Lisa Overdrive
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Mona Lisa Overdrive
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

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