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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication ACI '18 Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction
DateAccepted/In press - 4 Dec 2018
DatePublished (current) - 4 Dec 2018
EventFifth International Conference on Animal Computer Interaction - Georgia Tech, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 2 Jan 2018 → …


ConferenceFifth International Conference on Animal Computer Interaction
CountryUnited States
Period2/01/18 → …
Internet address


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.

    Research areas

  • Cognitive enrichment, Animal Welfare, Games, Gorilla Play, Zoo, Animal Computer Interaction


Fifth International Conference on Animal Computer Interaction

Duration2 Jan 2018 → …
Location of eventGeorgia Tech
CountryUnited States
Web address (URL)
Degree of recognitionInternational event

Event: Conference



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