How to design Desi-Home Lab style Drosophila Monitoring System using Infrared light?

In the CUBE discussions some students came up with a challenge to track the movement of fruit flies in their bottles during night time. During night time there is dark and they actually cannot see flies and their movement to know their activity. The students are studying sleep-wake studies in fruit flies and its important to track activity of fruit flies during night in dark. A suggestion came that we can use infrared light as a source to detect fruit fly movements in bottle/test tubes during night time. As during night time we cannot take video/pictures using normal camera, there is need for infrared light source.

As the students are working in Home Labs it is necessary that the design is simple and some simple infrared source can be used to develop a frugal activity monitoring system. What could be the simple infrared source easily available in Home Lab conditions?

I am sharing the design of the ‘Drosophila Activity Monitoring’ system below which we want to design. Please suggest how it could be possible to fabricate one in Home Lab conditions.

This is the design of the setup of ‘Drosophila Activity Monitoring System’ (DAM System).

(TriKinetics systems use infrared beams to detect and quantify animal movement over time. In a typical experiment, individuals are placed into transparent tubes with a supply of food, and as they move back and forth, their locomotor activity is recorded. Such daily activity records were first used to characterize the circadian rhythm of drosophila, and since then have been used to measure sleep, longevity, social interaction, geotaxis, phototaxis, learning, and drug response in various species of flies, mosquitoes, bees, spiders, ants, moths, cockroaches, wasps, beetles, zooplankton, and fish).


A very nice project idea. Lets explore how the CUBE students can collaborate with the tinkering team. What are the tools and things we need for doing this project, lets discuss.

How are we proceeding on this? @GN Hope, the Tinkering Group will come up with many ideas and models in collaboration with CUBE members.

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You can try variety of IR cameras like
AE Securities Wi-Fi Night Vision Camera Wireless with HD Video 1080p Recorder, Ultra HD Lens

Depending on budget you could choose the IR camera modules available

Basic to very advance thermal imaging cameras are available.