Create specialized bat-centric research support equipment to facilitate the care and study of bats within the Bat Conversation center. The equipment design should be able to support various bats ranging in size from a vampire bat (mouse size) to a flying fox (chicken size).
Phase I Deliverable – Automatic Isolation Box
Design and prove a door mechanism that will automatically open, close, and isolate an individual bat in a safe manner. (Each bat is individually barcoded with a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag under its skin).
Construct, test and prove the effectiveness in live trials of the door mechanism with an isolation chamber. The enclosure/isolation chamber must allow the bat comfortably to hold and climb, allow observation from a researcher, and access to physically remove an individual bat from the compartment.
Phase II Deliverable – Sensors
Create various passive sensors/recording devices to monitor bat activity. These will be mounted within the isolation chamber and also used in other contexts:
(1) passive weight plate – record an individually weight as they crawl across the plate. Distinguish between unique individuals and groups.
(2) Sensor, switch or trigger that a bat can choose to activate – this should be flexible and be able to be connected to multiple options (servo motor open a door, dispense a treat, etc.)