Construction of A Powered Eight-Rat Treadmill
Keith G. Benedict
A brief history...|
I was contacted by Dr. Traci Anthony, a researcher with the IU College of Medicine, which is co-located on the University of Southern Indiana campus here in Evansville Indiana. Her work with rodents requires that she be able to exercise up to eight rats at a time under identical conditions. There is no commercial eight-rat treadmill available; therefore one would have to be custom designed and constructed.
After several meetings with her over a period of months a design was developed that would meet her requirements, and I was given the contract to build an eight-rat treadmill. The specifications require eight independent compartments measuring 6" wide, 6" tall, and 24" long. A single conveyor belt approximately 50" wide will run underneath the compartments. The belt speed must be variable and reversible, with a top speed of 40 meters/minute. The whole device must also be able to be inclined up to 30°
I try to document most of the special design projects that I'm involved with; I thought it might be interesting to post digital photographs and my commentary concerning the progress of this project online. I have my own small machine shop, with a 15" x 50" Clausing Colchester lathe, a 10" x 54" Enco vertical mill, and several other pieces of metal working equipment. Most, but not all, of the work you will see in the photographs is done in my shop.
If you have any comments you would like to share, please e-mail me. Just click on my name at the top of this page.
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