Millimeter-Resolution Mouse-Force Tracker
The Millimeter-Resolution Mouse-Force Tracker is a new actometer for studying mouse behaviours. Consisting of independent force sensors with very fine spacing (currently 2mm in each dimension) it can be used to monitor each of a mouse's limbs, detecting tremors or detecting how a mouse walks, rears, or runs.
This combination of spacial resolution, force resolution, and independence of each sensor allows measurements impossible by any current technology.
The current prototype (at right) is an array of 128x128 sensor elements (sensels). The array of sensors can be digitized at the rate of at least 10 full scans per second using a 4-channel ADC that is controlled with an FPGA.
The system in the photo is tested with the "wobbler." A small motor with an eccentric weight is mounted on 4 rubber "legs" so that the force shifts between the legs.
The data for a few of the sensels are shown to the right, illustrating how the force affects different sensels with a fixed phase relationship as would be expected.