Mechanical figures of varying sizes animated by clockwork, and later by battery, and in the 18th and 19th centuries produced mainly by clock-makers. Automata were created for display and for adults. They were often elaborately dressed and capable of detailed movements such as drinking and smoking, or depicted an animated scene with birds or figures. In the late 19thC, automata were largely replaced by mass-produced, mechanical toys aimed at the children's market.
An Italian renaissance term for a mechanical device, usually powered by water, windpower or clockwork. The best surving examples are at Schloss Hellbrunn outside Salzburg in Austria. Example 1
Items utilizing a clock work mechanism to imitate motion. Noted in the 3rd century but popluarized with the automated birds in a cage and has now come to mean toys with a clockwork mechanism including japanese wind-up toys and cars. Many copies of these popular toys have now been produced.
Plural of an automaton and refers to figures that are relatively self-operating and capable of performing multiple complex movements. Early examples feature doll-like bodies with composition or bisque heads.
a machine that can be programmed
a machine that can perform a series of tasks
a self-moving machine, and so is a computer