Spherical Treadmill

A styrofoam ball(c. 15 cm diameter) is suspended on a cushion of air within a 3D printed cowling so that the ball is free to rotate without friction in any direction. A suspended insect able to touch the ball is thus able to rotate the ball as it attempts to fictively walk or run. Sensors detect the speed and direction of rotation of the ball. Custom software (Contact Dr. Dawson) collects the data and calculates useable metrics of locomotor performance.

See the following article for details:

Pacheco, K., Dawson, J.W., Jutting, M. and Bertram, S.M. (2013) How age influences phonotaxis in virgin female Jamaican field crickets (Gryllus asimilis) PeerJ 1:e130. DOI 10.7717/peerj.130