The Raspberry Pi based Virtual Reality system (PiVR) is a virtual reality system for small animals. It has been developed by David Tadres and Matthieu Louis

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PiVR - virtual reality for small animals

PiVR is a virtual reality system for small animals with a dedicated website:

It creates virtual realities by detecting the position of an animal in real space (left) and depending on the position of the animal in virtual space (center) presents the appropriate stimulus (right).

PiVR has been used with a variety of animals, including fruit fly larva, walking flies and zebrafish larvae.

Drosophila larva in virtual odor realityAdult fly in virtual gustatory realityZebrafish under virtual lightbulb
Drosophila larva are very efficient in staying close to the rim of the donut shaped virtual odor sourceFlies are strongly repelled by the virtual bitter taste by modulating movement speed.Zebrafish larvae are able to stay under a virtual light bulb by exclusively integrating temporal light intensity information

PiVR is described in detail in our recent publication:

Scientific American has written an article describing our work: includes a video:

For examples what the system has been used for, how it might be useful for you and how to build your own tracking system please head over to You will also find installation instructions there.

In August 2021 we presented PiVR at a World Wide Open Source Seminar: