Chotu, Chitti, and Maka were playing in the hall. They were surrounded by their friends, who were all boisterous. They ran around helter-skelter, jumping up and down and chasing each other.
Suddenly Chotu got bored of it all and wanted to do something new. He paused and looked at Chitti and signaled towards another room that opened out of the hall. Maka noticed them and stealthily followed them.
The next room housed a few computers. Chitti opened the doors, and all three stealthily crept into the room while their friends continued with their rampage.
Maka stood looking around, not sure about what to do next. Then she keenly settled her gaze on Chotu and Chitti, following their actions.
Chitti hopped onto the chair of the nearest workstation, positioned himself, and began touching the computer screen. Pictures of various food items like groundnuts in their shell, meats and eggs appeared on the screen. He enjoyed looking at them and slowly reached for the glass of mango juice with a straw sticking out, placed next to the workstation. With practiced ease, he began taking leisurely sips.
Chotu climbed onto the next one and placed his head on one of the chinrests. Then he began touching the screen where different fruits appeared. Chotu’s eyes fixated on a mango. Bananas and Pineapples and Grapes followed, and then another Mango came up. His eyes automatically went to the first mango on the top of the screen.
He unhurriedly leaned towards a bottle of orange juice and took sips without taking his hands off the screen.
When Maka saw them relish their juice, she slowly moved to the next work station and gingerly hitched herself onto the chair.
Her eyes kept swiveling towards Chotu and Chintu, trying to replicate their movements. Initially, she was clumsy in her attempts to place her head on the chinrest and touch the computer screen. But by observing her friends, she could work out what needed to be done. Finally, she laid her hands on the orange juice on her workstation and swallowed the liquid greedily.
What Chotu, Chitti, and Maka did not know was that all their actions were observed outside the well-lit, closed room. As soon as they placed their heads on the chinrests, their actions were being recorded, and customized eye trackers trailed their eyeballs.
Associate professor, IISc, Arun, pumped up his fist and all the others who were with him responded with smiles and claps.
They were studying the macaque monkeys.
They had built a specialized lab into the monkeys’ home, where the Macaques could freely play around and also access the workstations.
They had already trained Chotu and Chitti and were trying to check if an untrained monkey would learn the task by observing.
After 9 days of following and observing Chotu and Chitti, today Maka had accessed the workstations on her own, enticed by the reward of the juice.
Clement Heraldot, Thanks a lot for the pic.
When i read this news, I knew this would be perfect for the prompt.