WTF?! You might think pigs are all that great useless when it comes to gaming, but some the actual farmyard animals have been trained to include a joystick and play something much like a simple version of Pong.
Is long been known that pigs are more clever than they’re given credit to work with. They’re so smart, researchers by means of Purdue University in Indiana come with trained four of the porkers to control a joystick with their snouts to operate what’s happening on a display, take advantage of rewards for specific tasks.
A dollar in the journal Frontiers in Psychology explains how the pigs had to wiggle a cursor around the screen, over the goal being to collide to one of four walls. If rewarding, a noise would play, and also the pig was given a reward. The more efficient the pig was at the game, all the fewer the number of walls would appear.
Because the swines were farsighted, the screens would have to be placed at a distance where the animals could well see the targets, and using their snouts meant continually switching between evaluate the screen and looking at the joystick. Despite these issues, the swine trialled impressively well.
Two three-month-old Yorkshire pigs, Hamlett and Omelette, were more successful with two walls and even a single wall in the game, less so that there were three walls. As this subspecies grows fast, they became too large to stand for entire sessions quickly after 12 weeks of training.
Ebony and Ivory, two-year-old male Panepinto micro swines, did better when faced with various walls instead of one.
“That the swines achieved the level of success they did onto a task that was significantly outside their own normal frame of reference is due to itself remarkable, and indicative in addition to behavioral and cognitive flexibility, ” writes the researchers.
It seems encouragement at the pigs’ trainer was as major, if not more so , than the treats, which probably sounds very dog-like.
The team believes touchscreens might work better than joysticks during evaluating the pigs’ game-playing characteristics, so maybe we’ll see a forthcoming future iPad designed for the animals—an iPig, maybe?