Hess, Ronald A. Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of California, Davis, California.
Last reviewed:January 2019
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- Reasons for automating
- Categorization of automated tasks
- Enabling technologies
- Elements of automation process
- Effects on human activity
- Human-machine interaction
- Function allocation
- Artificial intelligence
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The process of having a machine or machines accomplish tasks previously performed by humans. As used here, a machine refers to any inanimate electromechanical device such as a robot or computer (Fig. 1). As a technology, automation can be applied to almost any human endeavor, from manufacturing to clerical and administrative tasks. Automation technology ranges in complexity from coffee makers to self-driving cars.
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