We have invented an apparatus that automates the standard Drosophila climbing behavioral assay. Traditionally, the climbing assay is performed manually, one vial at a time using the human eye and a stopwatch. 10 flies are place in a vial with a mark placed 2cm from the bottom of the vail. The flies are tapped down to the bottom of the vial by hand and a stopwatch started. The number of flies that climb above the 2 cm line is counted at 20 seconds. Variability is introduced by the user depending on how hard a person taps the vial and how well the person can visualize the flies.
Our apparatus is novel and a great improvement over the manual assay because it eliminates user variability and increases the number of samples (vials) that can be processed at a time. It can run 10 vials at a time with 3 times the number of flies per vial with a tapping mechanism that standardizes the tapping force. Our apparatus make it possible to do high through-put behavioral testing.