au·tom·a·ton     [aw-tom-uh-ton, -tn] 

plural automatons, automata [aw-tom-uh-tuh]

1. a mechanical figure or contrivance constructed to act as if by its own motive power.

origin of automaton:  1605-15; < Latin: automatic device < Greek, noun use of neuter of autómatos spontaneous, acting without human agency, equivalent to auto- auto-1+ -matos, adj. derivative from base of memonénai to intend, ménos might, force