New paper and software package: pirecorder!

Paper screenshot

My latest paper has just been published in the Journal of Open Source Software! It is the paper that accompanies my Python package pirecorder, which facilitates controlled and automated image and video recordings with optimal settings for the raspberry pi, specifically developed for biological research.

So far, researchers have often relied on writing their own recordings scripts to take still photographs and videos from the command line.

Although some specific software solutions exist, what was missing is a complete solution that helps researchers, especially those with limited coding skills, to easily set up and configure their raspberry pi to run large numbers of controlled and automated image and video recordings.

pirecorder was developed to overcome this need. You can get a quick overview of the package and what it is capable of in the video below:

Pirecorder is open source via GitHub,, easy to install using pip (pip install pirecorder), and comes with its own dedicated documentation website:

The accompanying paper is published in the Journal of Open Source Software:

Jolles, J.W. (2020). pirecorder: controlled and automated image and video recording with the raspberry pi. Journal of Open Source Software 5(54), 2584. doi: 10.21105/joss.02584.

Organised workshop on using Raspberry Pi’s in research

At the ASAB Summer Conference in Konstanz this year, which was focused on new frontiers in the Study of Animal Behaviour, I gave a half-day workshop about automating behavioural experiments with Raspberry Pi’s.

After a general introduction, I discussed its use in animal behaviour research, how to set up, work with, and remotely control a raspberry pi, how to work with the rpi camera system, and finally how to automate recording, including via my own pirecorder software.

I started working with these amazing machines during my PhD, which where then still quite difficult to set up and quite slow, but now with the newest model for almost the same low price, so much is possible!

It was great to see so many people (120) interested in this great open-source technology for their own work, and many told me soon afterwards they immideately started setting-up their own systems.

Due to the interest and enthusiasm I am planning to give more and more hands-on workshops in the near future. Stay tuned!


Renovating my lab

IMG_0635I have been locked away in my lab for most days in January/February this year for a total lab renovation to have a fully automated testing set-up that enables me to test large numbers of fish in very little time.

Now everything is in full working order I will write some more detailed blog posts about it in the near future! My first two student projects that used the new set-up worked out great and I am excited to go large scale soon!