Exciting news for us: we are putting the finishing touches on a new rig in our lab that will allow us to do behavioral experiments with flies in tethered flight.
The rig features an infrared camera recording at over 180fps, allowing us to monitor dynamic aspects of behaviour such as wingbeats and other body part movements. It's set up to allow stimulus display on up to three computer monitors, arrayed in a triangular arrangement around the mounted fly.
Here are a few photos showing the rig, and a video of a fly flying while mounted inside the rig.
Many thanks are due to Pavan Kaushik at NCBS, who has been very generously sharing his expertise, patiently guiding me over the past few months in collecting together all the components and setting up the supporting software! Thank you also to the staff in our Biomedical Engineering department for assembling the final rig, Sarah for sourcing bits and pieces from all over and improvising solutions when I got stuck, Joseph for the video and Yuri for setting up the flies.