n. 1. a machine that somehow simulates human functions, such as a robot spot welder, or the machine docilis, which was capable of conditioning, motility, problem solving, avoiding obstacles, and obeying a command like a whistle. Some automatic machines are able to run mazes, take shortcuts, and even make choices between goals. See also cybernetics- feedback. 2. a colloquial term for a human acting in an autonomous and routine manner without an external driving force. See also automatization.
AUTOMATON: "An automaton is a machine, often elaborate, that is designed to mimic some type of human function."