Blackbox Bio


Machine Learning
At Your Fingertips

Revolutionizing Neuroscience and Drug Development

The Blackbox One provides unprecedented access to mammalian nervous system function by recording voluntary rodent behaviors from below. Paired with the Palmreader machine learning software platform, it offers objective and highly sensitive insights into investigational interventions while reducing animal use. Moreover, it enables high-throughput in vivo experimentation, uncovering behavioral features and nervous system readouts that were previously unseen. With its ability to record from below at high spatial and temporal resolution in a dark and observer-free environment, the Blackbox One, along with the Palmreader software, introduces a new era of neuroscience discovery and drug development.

How It Works

Rodents roam freely inside an opaque black chamber in apparent darkness, while recorded from below using a near-infrared (NIR) enhanced HD machine vision camera.

The animal’s body pose (shown at right in grayscale) is captured with a rapid pulse of NIR light, while the contact areas of the paws (colorized heatmap) are separately recorded using a weight-sensing transparent FTIR optical sensor.

These data streams are combined to generate a high-speed, high-resolution video ethogram of mice and rats, revealing novel behaviors that can be automatically scored and that are more sensitive to investigational interventions than other experimental approaches.



Machine Learning at Your Fingertips

Our Palmreader software platform is a data management and analysis tool that provides access to machine learning rodent behavioral analysis algorigthms to automate measurement of paw luminance ratios (representing relative weight borne on each paw), body pose estimation, and provides users with the ability to train convolutional neural networks to automate human scored behaviors of interest. This software package provides remote access to your data and machine learning analytic functionality from any internet-connected web browser.

  •  total distance traveled
  • step length
  • gait width
  • toe spread
  • grooming
  • scratching
  • rearing
  • jumping
  • paw luminance ratio (mechanical sensitivity)
  • paw biting/ licking


Behavioral assessment of pain in laboratory rodents requires extensive human-rodent interaction and highly-subjective scoring. Here, we developed an approach for automated scoring of rodent behavior that is objective, differentiates between analgesia and sedation, and is suitable for high-throughput in vivo screening of experimental analgesics.

Labs Using Our Products

Interested to Learn More?

We’re transforming rodent behavior screening. Reach out to us to learn more about how our automated, high-throughput solutions can help your lab.

Untitled design (2)