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An automat is a machine that automatically (“automatically”) carries out predetermined processes. The term automatic stands for a device that controls and regulates a process.

Accordingly, automation is the "automatic sequence of technical processes according to a defined plan or in relation to defined conditions". The range of automated processes and thus also the machines is in principle as large as the range of technical applications per se. A very simple and well-known machine is z. B. flushing toilets with water , but an example of such an automated process is also the automatic transmission, which automatically selects and sets the gear ratio provided for the respective driving speed and load, or the automatic exposure or aperture control of a camera.

The demarcation of the term robot is not clear, as there are different definitions from country to country.

Use of language

Automat is a loan word from the Latin automatus "voluntarily, acting on its own initiative", which itself is a foreign word to the ancient Greek αὐτόματος automatos "happening by itself" (to autos "self" and the root men- "think, want").

In everyday language, such machines are usually as automatic or simple called that issue at the request of a commodity services accomplish as gaming , photo , monetary , currency exchange and vending machines . There is no personal contact person (seller). Depending on the context, automatic or automat usually denotes :

  1. In technical terms, a specific version of a device or unit becomes an independent designation by omitting the reference word. Examples:
  2. the defined reaction of a machine to an input (e.g. automatic switch-on ).
  3. the inevitable reaction to a change in a situation .

In (2) one also thinks of the process that follows the insertion of the coin in a ticket or coin machine , for example . Here - or with similar simple services - the "automatic" ends when a decision is requested from the user of the machine ( transport association , cash machine , etc.).

  1. a machine in computer science .


In contrast, automation in the field of technology is understood as a process of cybernetics . In technical disciplines such as mechanical engineering , sometimes physics , electrical engineering , geodesy , etc. one develops automatically running processes, processes or devices

In a narrower sense, automatic means those components, modules, sequences of steps or programs that enable the above processes. In this sense, all technical regulators are automatons. Playing figures and music boxes controlled by cam rollers or camshafts are considered to be simple machines .

With the development of machines to dealing automation technology .

See also

Web links

Commons : Automat  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Automat  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Lexicon Technology and Exact Natural Sciences, Vol . 1 . Fischer, Frankfurt / Main 1972, pages 274 and 277
  2. Kluge 1999 p. 69