Further reading

Mancini, C. 2011 Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI): a Manifesto. ACM Interactions 18, 69-73

Mancini, C. et al. 2012 Exploring Interspecies Sensemaking: Dog Tracking Semiotics and Multispecies Ethnography. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, ACM Press, 143-152 

Robinson, C. et al. 2014 Canine-Centered Interface Design: Supporting the Work of Diabetes Alert Dogs. Proceedings of the 32nd International ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM Press, to appear

The Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) Laboratory was founded to expand the boundaries of interaction design beyond the human species. We investigate the interaction between animals and technology, design technology to support animals in different contexts, and develop user-centred approaches to the design of technology intended for animals. Our aim is to improve animal and human wellbeing, social inclusion, interspecies cooperation and environmental restoration.

We live in a society where 'smart' systems allow us to relate to the world in unprecedented ways. Being involved in numerous aspects of human life, animals too interact with technology. Explore how we are supporting working dogs through technology designed from a canine-centred perspective.

We live in a society where computing technology has become ubiquitous and ‘smart’ systems now allow us to relate to the world, one another and ourselves in unprecedented ways, all thanks to what interaction designers call user-centred design. Being involved in every aspect of human life, animals too interact with technology (e.g. cows with robotic milking systems, assistance dogs with domestic technology), but technology is not always user-centred from the animals’ perspective. As an emerging discipline, ACI acknowledges the importance of user-centred design for animals, so that technology can best support them in their tasks and improve their welfare (e.g. making it easier for an assistance dog to help his human partner). 

To ensure that the design of animal technology is appropriately informed by the animals' characteristics and requirements, ACI aims to develop research frameworks that allow animals to participate in the design process and communicate what they want.

In collaboration with the University of Lincoln, Medical Detection Dogs and Dogs for the Disabled, our exhibit will focus on our work designing interactive technologies to support working (e.g. assistance, cancer detection, medical alert, search-and-rescue) dogs, whose welfare and performance could significantly benefit from the support of technology designed from a canine-centred perspective.