Lucia and Tom just returned from a 2 day workshop module as part of the currently ongoing IBRO-ISN school on Behavioural Neuroscience run at icipe, Nairobi (organised by N Patel and R Brown). For the first time we are proud to report that the entire module was successfully run using exclusively free and open source materials – from 3D printed pipettes and behavioural assays using simple off-the-shelf tools to custom built behavioural arenas based on Raspberry Pis and simple electronic control circuits that allow targeted activation of light- and temperature-sensitive proteins expressed in different lines of transgenic fruit flies. Even our microscope (“RPi-scope“) was home-built. Very special thanks to Andre for all his work on the behavioural rig (“Fly-Pi”). See below for some impressions.

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(1) Group picture (courtesy of R Brown); (2) the RPi-microscope with a fruit fly positioned over the lens with a 3D printed motorised micromanipulator; (3) Students using the “Fly-Pi” – a self-contained behavioural rig for ChR and TrpA activation in transgenic fruit flies based on a Raspberry Pi and Arduino controlling a Peltier and some LEDs; (4) The RPi scope (above) with view of the magnified fly on the screen; (5) Students using the “Fly-Pi”; (6) Individual components of the Fly-Pi soldered by Andre!