From automatization to automatic

The word automatic means “thinking by itself.” At first, it was determined everything that is in motion without a direct human intervention, in other words the automation, the robot (1). However, you will be surprised to learn that the concept of the robot is first appeared at the Iliad in which Homer describes Hephaestus make tripods with wheels which moved automatically (2). In 1589, Beraldin Balde (3), a Catholic priest, saves in Latin the work of Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria.But who was Heron? A well known engineer who lived maybe in the first century AD in Alexandria. He was the director of the first methodical Polytechnic in the world (Greek Higher Technical School).In his work he studies the hydrostatic pressure and the pressure of steam as motive power. It refers to the manufacture of an automatic device that allowed the automatic opening and closing doors in a temple (where it is said that the steam engine was discovered? In 1690? By Papen (4)? ….well, think again…)
In any case, the use of the word (as a technical term) was limited since the mechanics was also limited. In 1816, the term is appeared again with the writer ETA Hoffmann (1776-1822) who enjoyed success with ‘Die Automaten (it s about a mechanical doll, a robot) and incorporates the forgotten Greek word in the vocabulary of Western Europe. This is the time of the first steam engine. The word robot became fashionable to identify new mechanical inventions. As a result, new words are created as a universal range such as automation (French), automatic (English), automatico (Italian), automatizacion (Spanish).In America, the term will appear as automatization but a director of Ford will change it in 1945 for the first time as automation. The short term is maintained in all languages in the form of auto…
In case your mind is led to the automatic gearbox it could be good to notice that there is no serial box (speed) but only a box that has the speeds serially.

(1) it is a Czech word: robot <robota (= work). Formed by the Czech writer Capek in his novel: Rossum’s Universal Robots
(2) The word automatic also appears in the Iliad, in the work of Aristotle “the constitution of Athens”, in “Iphigenia in Tauris” by Euripides.
(3) automatic Degli, di Heron Alessandrino
(4)Denis Papin (1647-1713): The steam engine of Papin utilizes the pressure of the atmosphere (not the pressure of the steam).

George Damianos.

Trad.: Ag. Kiapekaki