Dolphins are highly intelligent and social animals, but can they use a smartphone built just for them? Yes, scientists have discovered—they can even play games like Whack-a-Mole with little training.
Researchers at Rockefeller University and Hunter College, working with the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD, have developed a touchpad for dolphins, the first of its kind, using optical technology. The system, essentially an underwater computer touchscreen through which dolphins are able to interact and make choices, will be used to investigate dolphin intelligence and communication by providing them choice and control over a number of activities.
The eight-foot underwater touchscreen features specialized dolphin-friendly “apps” and a symbolic keyboard to provide the dolphins with opportunities to interact with the system. To make the system safe for the dolphins, the touchscreen has been installed outside an underwater viewing window, so that no parts of the device are in the pool: the animals’ touch is detected optically.
Read Full Story: Science Blog
Photo: NOAA NMFS/Wikimedia Commons (CC0)
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