tool is an object that can extend an individual’s ability to modify features of the surrounding .

Although many animals use simple tools, only beings, whose use of  dates back hundreds of millennia, have been observed using tools to make other tools.

Early tools, made of such materials as , , and , were used for preparation of , hunting, manufacture of weapons, and working of materials to produce clothing and useful artifacts.

The development of made additional types of tools possible. Harnessing sources such as power, , or , allowed increasingly complex tools to produce an even larger range of items, with the  marking an marked inflection point in the use of tools.

The introduction of automation allowed tools to operate with minimal supervision, further increasing the productivity of labor.