What is Autonomation?

Legal Definition
Autonomation describes a feature of machine design to effect the principle of jidoka (自働化) used in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Lean manufacturing. It may be described as "intelligent automation" or "automation with a human touch." This type of automation implements some supervisory functions rather than production functions. At Toyota this usually means that if an abnormal situation arises the machine stops and the worker will stop the production line. It is a quality control process that applies the following four principles:

  1. Detect the abnormality.
  2. Stop.
  3. Fix or correct the immediate condition.
  4. Investigate the root cause and install a countermeasure.

Autonomation aims to prevent the production of defective products, eliminate overproduction and focus attention on understanding the problems and ensuring that they do not reoccur.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
When machines and operators can work together. The operator gives the machine a human touch. Both automatic and semi automatic processes make it easy for the operator.