A machine ( borrowed from Latin automatus "voluntarily, of their own volition acting " of gr αὐτόματος car matos " self- happening ", "self" and the root men- cars to " think like " ) is a machine, the predetermined processes automatically ( "automatically" ) executes. The term stands for an automatic device that controls an operation and controls.

Automation is accordingly the " automatic (r ) sequence of technical operations according to a set plan or in relation to specified conditions ". The range of automated processes, and thus the machine is as large as the range of technical applications, in principle. A very simple and any known machine is but for example the flushing of toilets, example of such an automated process is the automatic transmission, which automatically selects the time allotted for the current driving speed and load translation and sets or the exposure or shutter priority a camera.

The contrast to the term robot is not unique, because there are different definitions from country to country.

Colloquial language

In everyday language machine is mostly used for machines that spend a lot on request or perform simple services, such as gaming, photo, money, money exchange and vending machines. A contact person ( seller) is not available.

Colloquially called automatic or machine usually:

  • The automatic transmission of a vehicle,
  • One automatic
  • Automatic firearms
  • A circuit breaker, see circuit breaker
  • A regulator when diving

In ( 2) we think of the process that follows as in a ticket or coin-operated machines on the ball of the coin. Here - or similar simple services - ends the "Automatic" However, if the user of the machines a decision is required ( transport network, ATM etc.)..


An automatic in the field of technology, in contrast, conceived as a process of cybernetics. In technical disciplines such as engineering, some physics, electrical engineering, geodesy, etc. to develop self-running operations to the process or equipment

  • To run or produce with minimal personnel costs ( = rationalization )
  • Safer ( free of human errors), such as data, in the industrial production
  • To run faster (eg in computer technology and IT),
  • To achieve higher precision (eg machine tools, robots in car manufacturing )
  • Largely " objectified " to operate ( as free as possible of bias ) or to control
  • To protect people from harm (eg controls, environmental protection, power plants, etc.)
  • Or to achieve other benefits.

In a narrower sense the automatic means then those components, modules, programs or step sequences which enable the above operations. All technical controls are automatic in this sense. As simple machines controlled by cam rollers, cams, characters and music boxes apply.

With the development of machine to the automation technology deals.

Pictures of Automaton