It seems that their purpose is in making designing certain NFAs less onerous? Does this mean that no automata that are implemented have Epsilon-transitions, and that they are kind of a mathematical conceit we adopt for our own ease of design? I'm having a lot of trouble understanding what is "happening" when an Epsilon-transition occurs - is it a way of saying, "have the NFA now switch, automatically, to this next state"?
EDIT: I'm a CS student taking CS Theory for the very first time, so apologies if this question is very rudimentary. I'm a narrative person and I often understand abstract ideas through examples or by trying to understand the problems the ideas are engaging with. I ask very basic questions, but those questions help me hook into the ideas I'm studying.