This paper has been written in order to clarify the way that some potentially very useful physical devices can be thought about in the context of a wider system. These devices mechanically change state as their operating environment changes and can be directly used to act on that environment or another physically adjacent environment. The devices are autonomous and require no power. They are usually regarded as being so basic that they are not worth thinking about in a sophisticated 21st Century context.
Publication: 'Cybernetics and Systems 2008', Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies and Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI), Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies | full text (PDF)