I've been looking into various ways of doing Automata, especially non-Verditus fashions, and recently revisited Stir the Slumbering Tree, and it and it's baseline are seriously starting to boggle my mind:
Fully intelligent Automata are not Hermetically impossible, nor are they particularly complicated to manufacture, given that you should be able to migrate the baseline to any other form you desire, as this gets freely done with a lot of other spell guidelines. From there it's only a simple matter of linking an appropriate rego effect that the item should be able to control on it's own, making a Hermetic Automata nothing more than a Greater Enchanted Device with a very basic set of enchantments. The item would be intelligent, presumably capable of learning, albeit lacking in a soul and might, although it's possible that it'll acquire the latter over the course of it's lifetime. Yes it's not loyal towards the creator per default, but that's what Rego Mentem is for, if you want to be crude.
An argument could be made for it to only affect something which is "living", but then at the very list it would be usable with Animal, but I honestly don't think that this holds much water as Hermetic Magic can effectively "speak" to anything within the natural world, and thus proving the existence of a sort of consciousness, however limited and normally inaccessible.
How is the Verditius Mystery even a viable thing, in setting?