I’ve develop a variety of hardware and software platforms used in the lab to perform experiments, and for other lab purposes. There are a number of different experimental arenas that I’ve developed, each containing some method to interact with a fly or flies, for example, using fly-sized robots, laser tracking, heat stimulus, visual stimulus, etc, and to sense the behavior of the fly, often operating in closed-loop feedback. The software platform that ties it all together is called Flylab, and performs computer vision & tracking, mechanical/visual/laser actuation, visual servoing, experimental trial automation, etc. I also provide other various lab solutions such as building miscellaneous electronic & mechanical instruments, working in the machine shop to make custom parts, fixing or developing the occasional bit of circuitry, etc. Ultimately though, it’s all just a lot of fun.
This video shows the realtime tracking and laser galvo system drawing numerals on each fly. In actual use we would use a different laser wavelength (e.g. 1064nm or 470nm) to activate the driver of the UAS-GAL4 system, and a smaller pattern focus more energy on the fly.
This video shows a fly walking on a circular arena with a “robot” maintaining a distance of 8mm. The robot is just a fly-sized magnet, and is actuated from underneath the arena via another magnet attached to a five bar linkage with two servo motors. This video is sped up 10x.