Painting Music with Pachyderms

Caretakers of animals in captivity use enrichment to keep species mind and bodies active. Objects and activities can use environmental, behavioral and social enrichment to improve animal welfare. These exercises and experiences frequently include objects that simulate natural behaviors, such as foraging or climbing. Art is a valuable form of enrichment used often in Zoos and Aquariums. More at: https://www.aza.org/enrichment.

 

To create this, a device named a Makey Makey is programmed to create sounds when the elephant’s paint brush touches the paint. The Makey Makey is connected by a cord to the keeper to ground it (who is touching the elephant’s trunk) and an additional cord to the paint palette. The code to create the music generation is developed in Processing.

Setup design

Setup design

Materials

Materials

 
elephant-painting