The purposeful action of any agent in a complex environment requires control, that is, the determination of specific sequences of values for the parameters determining the state of the agent. In recent years, it became clear that we have to extend our notion of control if we want to understand the mechanical and chemical process management of biological systems. As it turns out, the lessons we learn from this extension can be directly used in engineering—foremost in the field of robotics, but increasingly also in other areas, such as artificial life or novel types of chemical systems design. The extension we refer to includes the intrinsic dynamics of the system to be controlled as an active, even computational element of control. The employment of the physical or chemical dynamics of a system as part of the computations necessary for control is...

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