"Feeding Time" was a collaborative project between my Product Design Engineering class at GSA and Blair Drummond Safari Park in
Blair Drummond were looking for effective enrichment solutions to help feed and stimulate some of the animals living at the park.
The final design created by the group from GSA was inspired by the children's game "Downfall" - challenging the chimpanzee's to complete a puzzle in order to be rewarded with some food.
The final design, shown below, had three key features;
Puzzle board - the chimpanzees interact with this board. Turning the discs and lining them up in the correct arrangement allows a token to pass through the puzzle. Completion activates a switch, sending a signal to the release mechanism. The puzzle can be altered by the zookeepers, allowing them to change the arrangement of the discs and vary the difficulty.
Automatic food release mechanism - on reception of an electronic signal, the feeder rotates it’s valve through 180 degrees, releasing a specific quantity of food.
Feeding trough - food released by the feeder mechanism accumulates in the trough. Careful placement of the trough against the fence can enable a few pellets/fruits/nuts to pass through.
To aid in presentation of the final design, a 1:1 prototype was constructed from MDF and perspex. The model demonstrated how the chimpanzee's could complete the puzzle. A removable back also showed how the discs could be interchanged to alter the difficulty of the puzzle.
Feeding Time was a collaborative design project, completed alongside fellow PDE students, Bryony Ayre, Tom Lever, Caitlin Berry and Sammy Arschavir.