Apr 13, 2023

Raspberry Rat is a Python platform for recording, converting, and uploading videos to the cloud and for performing scheduled video recordings. It was developed by Hannah Lapp from the Champagne lab at UT Austin. This repository also includes a detailed wiki with a comprehensive guide to setting up Raspberry Pis for this purpose. Raspberry Pis are a great tool to use for these types of recordings as they are often cheaper than a camcorder and can produce HD video. They are also equipped with an infrared camera, making them ideal for recordings of animals that are active in low light conditions.

The wiki includes a complete materials list, and step by step instructions for the actual setup of the Pi as well as the implementation of the code. The wiki discusses connecting to the device remotely via VNC viewer, which allows for many Pis to be controlled from a single PC. This can be useful for situations when many different subjects need to be recorded at the same time. It then provides instructions for recording, converting to mp4, uploading to the cloud and scheduling the recordings. It is extremely detailed and addresses many potential errors or difficulties one may have, making it a great resource for those who are unfamiliar with Raspberry Pis or coding in general. Obtaining good quality video recordings is an important first step in many facets of behavioral research.

The scripts use Python, which is freely available, and can be accessed through the Github link below.

This research tool was created by your colleagues. Please acknowledge the Principal Investigator, cite the article in which the tool was described, and include an RRID in the Materials and Methods of your future publications. RRID: SCR_023467

Special thanks to Matthew Nifong, an undergraduate neuroscience major, for providing this project summary! This summary is part of a collection from students in a Computational Methods for Neuroscience course at American University.