Engineering A New Way to Feed Gorillas

Photo credit: Adam Thompson, Zoo ATL

Photo credit: Adam Thompson, Zoo ATL

A team of Georgia Tech researchers has built an automatic feeding machine for gorillas at Zoo Atlanta that allows the primates to more naturally forage for food. Their ForageFeeder replaces the zoo’s previous feeding protocols, which had staff deliver food to the habitat at set times and locations.

With the new machine, feeding times can be set for different intervals every day. This encourages the gorillas’ natural feeding behavior, giving them additional random foraging opportunities throughout the day.

"This is a great example of how technology can positively influence animal welfare," says David Hu, Faculty Advisor of the project. "Zoo Atlanta is a local, nonprofit institution, and it was great to see Georgia Tech students learning by doing. Technology has been improving human lives for years, and now it’s the gorillas’ turn."

Read the full story on the College of Engineering's website.

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Jason Maderer
College of Engineering