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Publication - Professor Kirsten Cater

    Gorilla Game Lab: Exploring Modularity, Tangibility and Playful Engagement in Cognitive Enrichment Design

    Citation

    Gray, S, Bennett, P, Burgess, K, Cater, K & Clark, F, 2018, ‘Gorilla Game Lab: Exploring Modularity, Tangibility and Playful Engagement in Cognitive Enrichment Design’. in: ACI '18 Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction.

    Abstract

    Enriching the lives of animals under human care is not a new concept but the methods of doing so are rapidly evolving in zoos. Zoo-based enrichment is traditionally low-tech, often failing to maintain animals’ long-term interest. Meanwhile, evaluating the intricacies of enrichment device use remains difficult. ‘Cognitive’ enrichment aims to challenge animals’ evolved cognitive skills and ACI shows promise in revolutionizing its practice.

    We present ‘Gorilla Game Lab’, a project designing, implementing and evaluating high-tech cognitive enrichment with seven zoo-housed Western lowland gorillas. We study the role of modular, tangible cognitive enrichment, assimilating motivational game design principles, in maintaining engaging, playful interactions.

    Taking an 'animal-centred' design approach, informed by the gorillas and the humans responsible for their welfare as design contributors, we introduce our rapid prototyping process. We also explore how integrating digital tracking, IoT and open source design, can contribute to creating a world-class method for enhancing zoo animal welfare.

    Full details in the University publications repository