Locomotion Compensator

The Locomotion Compensator is a device that has the ability to compensate and record an insects movement. The insect is placed on a sphere which is controlled by electrical motors. With a camera and software to control the sphere it tries to keep the insect always in the center.

Currently there are 3 sizes of spheres:

  • LC-100
  • LC-300
  • LC-770

The number behind LC- stands for the sphere diameter in millimeter.


– Initial hardware & software setup
– How to use grayscale in the software
– Explanation of the settings


Youtube channel

EXPLANATION OF THE SETTINGS (updated: 7-12-2017)

In this list the most inportant settings of the Locomotion Compensator software are explained.


# Seconds to analyse
The recording length of the stimulus states (C1, C2, C3, C4)
Valid range: 1 -> 10000 seconds

# Measurement unit
Choose the measurement unit the software need to use to calculate data.
Warning: Don’t import recordings (*.csv) after switching the unit. The data will be invalid because it’s calculated with the wrong unit.
Valid value: mm, cm, m

# Inverse chart X-axis
Check this option to inverse the X axis on the charts

# Inverse chart Y-axis
Check this option to inverse the Y axis on the charts


# Line Width
Choose the width of the lines in the charts
Valid range: 1 -> 100 px

# Colors
Choose the colors of the lines in the charts

# Mousewheel scroll factor
Set this higher to zoom faster in/out on charts. To zoom you need to click on the chart itself.


# Ranges
Set the desired range of the limit circle on the camera window
Object inside the circles:
– green: Don’t increase the k-factor
– orange: Set the k-factor to aggressiveness * 1 every sample
– red: Set the k-factor to aggressiveness * 2 every sample
– outside red: Set the k-factor to aggressiveness * 3 every sample

# Aggressiveness
Set this higher if you want a more aggressive increase of the k-factor inside orange and red

# Sampling time
How often check if the object is inside the circle


# Angles
Set the desired angle of the stimulus shown in the chart. The right side of the chart is 0 degrees and will count counter clockwise.


Change the name of the used stimulus in the application


# Main chart update
How often draw the main tracker chart (first tab). Lower values mean more points in chart which will decreases realtime performance drasticly.

# Stim. chart update
How often draw the stimulus charts (C1, C2 etc).


Set the correct parameters of the used sphere. You can use the presets for the LC300 and LC770, just unlock the paramets with the following password: syntechsphere.
After that the preset button is unlocked, there you can click on the desired preset.

# Auto-connect
This option scans the available ports on your computer to find the Sphere on startup of the application. If this however conflicts on your computer you can disable it and
connect manually using the connection button in the Analysis window.
First choose the desired com port then click on connect. If it’s connected successfully you should be able to see it in the left bottom corner of the Analysis window.


# Device
Choose the default camera for the application

# Camera update
Choose the desired update time of the camera in the application. In the update cycle the application takes a frame of the camera and calculates the position of the object. Lower values affects performance due to calculations.
The environment lighting can also effect the update time of the camera due to low shutter time of the camera itself. Be sure you have enough light for the camera.
Valid range: 5 -> 10000 ms

# Color selection average pixels
When you click on the color in the camera window it will take the color of X pixels and takes the average color of that. When set to 1, it takes the color of the pixel you are clicking on.
X = set value
Valid range: 1 -> 10000

# Gray scale
Convert the colored image of the camera to grayscale and allow the user to filter on contrast instead of color.

# Area detection
Area detection is a new kind of detection which allows accurate center calculation of 1 object. This allows you to have more noise/distortions in the
camera window because it only takes the largest one.
When disabled: The software calculates the center of the object based on the average of all filtered pixels
When enabled: The sofware calculates the center of the object based on the largest filtered area of pixels.


The inputs tab allows the user to choose the function of the inputs on the sphere.

# K-factor increment
This option is used when you select increase or decrease k-factor in one of the input options.


The outputs tab allows the user to set an output to a high state according to the currently recorded state. The output is a relay which can be seen as a switch.


# Show camera crosshair
This options shows a red center crosshair in the left camera window

# Show camera X, Y
Shows the actual X, Y posision in pixels of the object in the left bottom corner

# Camera window scaling
Scales the left camera window according to the size of the application window

# Restore window pos/size
Restore the position and size of both application windows on startup. The data is saved on the exit of the application.

# Diagnostics
This can be used to check the functionality of the sphere.