Octopus + Etch A Sketch?

squillium

Hatchling
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Dec 23, 2017
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Hello All,

First of all, I want to say thank you to the staff of this awesome site. Keep up the great work guys!
My tank is a few months away from being octo-ready. I've seen videos of Octopus removing screw on lids from jars, as well as videos where an octopus is proved to recognize symbols. This got me thinking: could an octopus use an etch a sketch?
I've ordered a tiny etch a sketch and once it arrives, I'll test it to see if is waterproof, or if it can be made water proof. I know that etch a sketch contain aluminum.
Any comments on this?
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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I don't think aluminum should be a problem but I don't think the Etch a Sketch will survive underwater AND I am not sure of the drawing media composition (possibly Iron filings?, chemicals on the drawing surface?) . I also don't know how you would train an octopus to turn the knobs. You have me wondering about putting some kind of touch sensitive material on the glass though.
 

squillium

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Dec 23, 2017
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I think I'll order an second one and get an assay on as much as possible of the materials. Touch sensitivity is another interesting concept. I've read where some octopi will sneak up on their prey and touch them on the back to surprise them. This combined with their ability to recognize symbols
suggests that they could learn to use a touch sensitive device. The trick here would be finding out whether an octopuses skin would be able to activate the device. I would be trying this out myself, if it wasn't for the cost of a fully waterproof device. One could order a device after training their octo to recognize symbols, encourage them to use the device with rewards, and then return said device if it turns out the touch screen is not sensitive to their skin. As for the theory behind etch a sketch, I figure if an octo can unscrew a lid, it might be able to turn the knobs of an etch a sketch. I've read that octo have excellent eye sight, so the octo should be able to see what it's doing.
 

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