About This Project

HHMI

Courtship Song Research Instrument

The nation’s largest philanthropy for medical research studies the fly brain as a human analog to map neural circuits that govern specific behaviors. Unique research tools are needed to facilitate this testing, which stimulate flies to elicit certain responses. The lab needed a partner to further develop a prototype to monitor the fly mating process, also known as the “courtship song.” Key Tech was hired to transition an existing prototype into a robust, high throughput research tool capable of capturing clean optical, audible, video, and temperature data.

The electronics were redesigned to achieve low noise, to allow for adjustment of light intensity via software, and to include a system diagnostic check. The test cartridge which holds the flies was redesigned to make the process of loading 8 pairs of flies easy and intuitive. GUI improvements included streamlining user interaction to reduce setup time and allow the user to view optical and audio signals on one screen in real time.

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