Janelle Sands

Janelle  Sands
Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Tod Machover
Department: EECS
Areas of Research: Human Computer Interaction
Years: 2018-2019
Research Project Title:

Sonic Enrichment at the Zoo

abstract:Zoos are an illustration of the extreme disconnect between humans and other species, often criticized as entertainment sources that restrict natural animal behaviors and fail to provide meaningful human-animal interactions. However, many of these institutions have transformed into safe havens to protect and improve the quality of life of animals and increase scientific and public understanding and respect of other species. To further these efforts, we will reimagine how we use voices and sound to design and create interactive voice-based experiences to stimulate animals’ auditory senses, the dominant sense for many species. We will then evaluate the effect of these enrichments in improving interspecies and intraspecies connectivity, quality of life for captive animals, and caregiver monitoring.

"I’m excited to be participating in SuperUROP because I hope to gain a deeper understanding for rigorous research, and because I believe music and the voice have the power to enrich the lives of not just people, but animals as well. I will apply my background in programming and music to approach the interesting design challenge of creating interfaces and experiences for non-human users."