Hi, the history of automata goes back to the Greeks, since then India and europeans have had plenty of influence in taking this foreward. Automata covers a vast range from robotics to dolls and mechano sets in the 60/70's. As both you and I were bought up through those years we were often given toys that had moving parts to entertain us. From these toys, engineers have used the concepts to bring about change in every day life. A modern car plant with all it's robots is a good example. Like you my personal favorites are the ones I can remember from my childhood.