What is the X in X-mas?
robotics, mathematics, algorithm
(Plural automata) A machine, robot, or formal system designed to follow a precise sequence of instructions.
Automata theory, the invention and study of automata, includes the study of the capabilities and limitations of computing processes, the manner in which systems receive input, process it, and produce output, and the relationships between behavioural theories and the operation and use of automated devices.
See also cellular automaton, finite state machine.