An automaton (/ɔːˈtɒmətən/; plural: automata or automatons) is a relatively self-operating machine, or control mechanism designed to automatically follow a predetermined sequence of operations, or respond to predetermined instructions.[1] Some automata, such as bellstrikers in mechanical clocks, are designed to give the illusion to the casual observer that they are operating under their own power. Since long ago, the term is commonly associated with automated puppets that resemble moving humans or animals, built to impress and/or to entertain people.

A postulated interior of the Duck of Vaucanson (1738–1739)
Pinocchio automaton

Animatronics are a modern type of automata with electronics, often used for the portrayal of characters in films and in theme park attractions.