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Animal Activated Showering Systems


Typically animal enrichment strategies in zoos are keeper dependent. In some circumstances technology-based and automated, animal activated or remotely visitor activated enrichment techniques can provide significant welfare benefits.

This project explores the inclusion of sensing technologies, wirelessly connected devices and animal interactions within the enclosures through the design of showering systems for Giant Tortoises, and Ratites. An iterative project involving ultrasonic and laser sensing technologies Emus, Cassowaries and Giant Tortoises are enabled through a set of infrastructure components to activate their own showering. The combination of remote sensors, wireless, microprocessor and off-grid technologies, controlled by animals and monitored by keepers through a smart phone application that provides thresholds to be set for temperature, duration, humidity and frequency the showering systems provide water loving species greater autonomy in enrichment.

Research Team
Liam Fennessy, Scott Mitchell & Joshua Batty
Research Collaborators
Adam Grech & Benjamin Brayshaw
Industry Partners
Zoo’s Victoria: Melborne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo & Healesville Sanctuary
Details
Date: 2014-2016
Status: Current