Hephaestus was responsible for all kinds of automata, or self-moving objects. They ranged from golden dogs that bite to the bronze eagle that chewed on Prometheus to human statues that feel. One of his more cryptic works, though, was a set of “twenty tripods which … of their own motion could wheel into the immortal gathering*.” These objects live in the borderlands between animate and inanimate, utilitarian and divine, natural and artificial.
*Homer, Iliad 18. 136 ff (trans. Lattimore)