Virtual Reality – Servo Ball

Mouse on servo ballVirtual Reality – Servo Ball

The Virtual Reality Servo Ball is a novel virtual reality experimental system. It is based on an active, servo driven spherical treadmill. It allows a freely moving rodent (mouse, rat) to navigate in virtual space. Virtual reality provides a perfectly controllable experimental environment. It can be used for investigating navigation, cognition, learning and memory. Freely moving animals can be examined during unrestrained behaviour or through electro – or opto-physiological methods, telemetry or pharmacological interventions while the animal performs complex behaviours. A large range of brain circuits can be stimulated through multi-modal

stimulation. The available sensory modalities include visual, acoustic, tactile and olfactory stimuli. Reinforcement feedback can be given through positive (sugar water) or negative (air puff) reinforcement. Operant behaviour and emotional responses can be examined. For unrestrained animals even 24-hour experimentation is possible. Automated experimentation with multiple individuals is possible. This is achieved through a tube access system to the animals‘ home cage. Animals can be given individual access from their home cage to the Virtual Reality Servo Ball through the optional automated ID-Sorter and electronic gates.



  • Virtual reality navigation
  • Pharmacology in any type of maze or operant enviornment
  • Cellular dynamics during virtual navigation
  • Electro- and opto-physiological methods
  • Operant conditioning
  • Learning and memory processes

  • 600 mm ball for rats or mice
  • Octagonal surround monitor (TFT) with virtual reality scene
  • Eight retractable operant modules for liquid reinforcement with nose poke sensor
  • Visual stimulation with proximal and 3D distal visual cues
  • Acoustic stimulation with multi-speaker system for 3D-sound
  • Olfactory stimulation with multiple odours for 2D-odour landscape
  • Whisker stimulation for somatosensory sensation
  • Tube connection to home cage for fully automatic 24/7 operation
Key Advantages

  • Compact size
  • Turn-key virtual reality and operant conditioning system
  • Infinite number of experimental paradigms created by software
  • Custom virtual reality scenes available
  • Multi-modal stimulation
  • Positive and negative reinforcement
  • Fully automated

  • Custom virtual reality programming
  • 3D sound stimulation
  • Odour, whisker, or /and LED-light stimulation
  • Optional ID-Sorter for connection to group home cage (RFID/transponder technology)