Animal-Computer Interaction

An overview of our Animal-Computer Interaction research from the group leader, Dr Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas.


The Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) group research how animals interact with computer systems and designing and building methods to capture this interaction. We have a strong focus on computers that animals can control and use to access the internet. We contribute to, develop and releasing novel systems that are bespoke made for animals.

Much of the research we undertake is collaborative and has industrial partners. We work closely with the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health & Comparative Medicine and other world-leading Universities.

Group members

Research software

We aim to publish open access software, data, and resources through our research to promote collaboration and sharing. We do this to enable others to access our low cost and autonomous research systems, with most software coming with a ‘how to’ guide. If you would like further guidance on using our software, please get in touch.  

Members of this group helped build the interactive monkey tunnel that allows animals to control video and audio when they are detected inside the tunnel interface. These systems work autonomously and save data online, being remotely accessible.

Monkey Tunnel- A device that allows a monkey to choose when to play audio or videos within their zoo enclosure.

Members of this group built an interactive screen device for dogs that play videos whenever a dog is detected in front of the screen, saving and recording this data locally and online

Extending this work, we build an interactive video call system for a dog that facilitates a dog video calling their human when they move a ball object.

DogPhone: A device for a dog to video call their human while home alone.

PhD studentships

PhD positions are available for students with excellent Computer Science qualifications, a high level of motivation, and related research interests. A typical applicant will have a first or upper-second class Honours degree in Computer Science, or equivalent qualification.

Studentships to fund a PhD are available each year. For the primary sources of funding

UK students should contact a member of academic staff before January.

You can read more about the application process for the School of Computing Sciences: Prospective students