The Jaquet Droz Signing Machine Signs Papers Mechanically So You Don’t Have To


High above a scorched Earth, in a sleek yacht tethered to the tip of the Terra Two spindle, Chancellor Herman Worthy was doing paperwork. His cleaner bots were all asleep and his assistant, a lithe android build to look like a long-dead 2000s era actress, was in her charging case. It was good to be alone.

His body was dead. All that was left was his mind. But long, before he died, almost a hundred years ago, he had a curiosity made. It was an automaton, mechanically powered, that could sign his name just in the same way that he once signed his name using his own living hand. A few pumps of the primer, courtesy of his sensor-tipped remote grippers, and the machine sprang to life, gears turning, a carefully calibrated pen sliding over smooth parchment. The inspiration for this wondrous thing, Jaquet Droz, was a watchmaker and roboticist who…

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