Last week, Ade & I “built” (I use the word loosely) a space cocoon out of aluminum foil to control the illumination of our experimental spiders. It worked, clumsily, and it looked hideous.
We constructed it with frame of Space Age™ PVC pipe, covered with sheets of Cutting Edge™ Black FoamCore, the edges sealed with Advanced Technology™ adhesive backed metallic fabric…in other words, cardboard and duct tape. It looks damned fine, though. We’ve got a spider in a cage beneath a NoIR camera in there, and Ade is caught in the act of activating our time-lapse software on the Raspberry Pi so we can quantify it’s behavior night and day. Our sole obstacle to doing Great Science is now the spider: our Mk I may have been clumsy, but it did work, and unfortunately this particular spider cowered out of sight* almost the whole time the computer eye in the sky was staring down at her. We’re doing another trial run now.
Another bonus is that we made the box fairly roomy, and we could eventually put 3 or 4 spiders in separate cages in there. We only have the one camera right now, though, so that will have to wait.
*Of course, a spider refusing to behave is still data in a behavioral observation, so that was fine.