An interesting project draws on feedback loops to turn the everyday act of feeding ducks at a pond into a playful activity the ducks can participate in too.

Ducks Feed People is a new project out of Georgia Tech’s Digital World & Image Group, a program that sets out to explore new ways of investigating everyday behavior in public spaces. This specific project turns the traditional act of feeding ducks at the park from a one-way, human-led activity, to a playful two-way behavior loop impacted by the ducks as well.

As children throw food into a pond, ducks naturally flock to gather around it. A webcam observes that gathering of ducks, and when the group reaches a certain density, it triggers a large duck mock-up nearby that dispenses candy from its mouth – to which the children naturally flock to gather around it. This mock-up duck dispenses candy only as long as the real ducks maintain a certain density, which naturally lowers as the children stop feeding them to run to the candy – prompting the children to quickly return to the pond to feed the ducks again.

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