Interactive Audio for Chimpanzees

Brief provided by Paul Kendrick and Rob Young, University of Salford.

This brief deals with audio enrichment for chimpanzees and other apes. Previous studies have investigated the impact of music on chimpanzee behaviour . The results of the study showed no preference either for or against the presence of music, and no preference of music genre. This is perhaps unsurprising as music is a human construct.

What would be interesting would be to provide a system where the animals could control the type of sound that is reproduced, and they could select preferred content. Previous studies have played sounds at fixed (and rather loud) levels. It would be interesting to also give the animals control over the level of sound reproduction.


Concept development

Everyone worked on concepts for chimpanzees - after reading the brief we set a 25 minute pomodoro for brainstorming ideas.



Fiona and David present some ideas for chimp enrichment, showcasing a rough model of the enrichment. It's a ball-activated sound sequencer that triggers different sound effects - all chosen by the chimpanzees who place tagged objects in RFID reader boxes. Rotating controls at the side mediate background sounds, such as waterfall, birdsong, nothing.