Instrumented observation cage


The PhenoTyper is a fully configurable instrumented observation system for measuring and testing the behaviors of laboratory rodents. Every cage can be equipped to your specific needs with a range of sensors and stimuli.

  • Customizable to your specific experimental needs

  • Optimized environment for use with video tracking (EthoVision XT)

  • From short term behavioral observations to 24/7 long term tests


A multi cage system for all your behavioral needs

The PhenoTyper is a system designed from the ground up for 24/7 observation periods so it comes with shelters, food and water but it can also be used with bedding and/or other enrichments. Alternatively, it can be customized for highly complex multimodal often short-term observations. This often requires integration with 3rd party equipment which is possible because Phenotyper is powered by EthoVision XT.  Noldus is always available to discuss your needs and wishes for your behavioral experiments!

With the NEW PhenoTyper 2 Top Unit, we have taken the PhenoTyper method to a whole new level. Our most recent hardware innovation comes with a variety of new features, from a vastly improved camera quality to a highly customizable modular Top Plate that can fit any sensors and equipment you might need. Want to know more about all the new features? Then, go the what's new page!

PhenoTyper 2 full cage


"It limits the stress you give the animals, so we gain in quality"

Dr. Jean-Claude do Rego and Dr. Jean-Luc do Rego of the Behavioral Analysis Facility of the University of Rouen (Service Commun d’Analyse Comportementale, SCAC), are evaluating the behavioral and functional activities of new pharmacological drugs. Watch the video to learn more about why they select Noldus PhenoTyper for their research.


Long term observations

Following your animals for several circadian cycles can lead to new (stable) insights that are less subjective to short term (acute) variance. The PhenoTyper is an ideal environment to facilitate long-term observations in rodents. Doing long-term research, decreases the stress an animal experiences during handling and movement, and will depict a more complete picture of the effect of your treatment. The integrated home cage also gives the option to provide enrichment possibilities, like running wheels. Therefore, your measurements will be more valid when translating from a rodent model to a human model. All these measurements are 

The PhenoTyper is designed to be used to observe your animals when you are not there, allowing the animals to display behaviors without human interference. Low stress observation periods with fully habituated animals in a home cage environment is ideal for operant conditioning tests like the cognition wall. Furthermore, measuring anxiety in the PhenoTyper also benefits greatly from the low stress environment to decrease influence of external stressors like handling and novelty.

brown mouse on a shelter in a phenotyper  

Customer quote

"I can assess the behavior of the rats for a long time, which is not possible with other behavioral set-ups. Animals can just stay in the PhenoTyper, without any stress, without any exposure to the new environment, we can look at their behavior in the home cage"

Mina Sadighi Alvandi PhD | Donders Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


white rat with a novel object

Short term observations

Not all tests require or are possible in a 24/7 situation. In this case the PhenoTyper is also well suited to perform many short-term tests. For example, test that require behavioral observation of tethered rodents. Many tests with a relatively short observation period can benefit from a fully configurable environment that is designed specifically for video-based observations.

The uniform design of the PhenoTyper combined with the automatic measurements and analysis of EthoVision XT creates a truly flexible platform for the consistent collection of data.



Sizing options and features

PhenoTyper is available in two standard sizes: the PhenoTyper 3000 has a floor area of 30cm x 30cm (12"x 12") and the PhenoTyper 4500 has a floor area of 45cm x 45cm (18" x 18"). Custom sizing is also possible, for example a model of 90cm x 90cm (36" x 36") has been used in studies.

We recently released the NEW PhenoTyper 2 Top Unit, the latest leap in innovation for our integrated home cage system. This top unit seamlessly integrates with your existing PhenoTyper walls and add-ons, ensuring full backward compatibility. By upgrading to the new top unit, you'll experience a significant improvement in camera quality and gain the flexibility to effortlessly incorporate upcoming modules into your PhenoTyper 2 setup, making adaptability a breeze.

topunit phenotyper 2


webinar screenshot ethovision

Better data, easier acquisition

Once you choose your set-up you can start to reap the benefits of having the PhenoTyper in your lab. Using multiple devices at once drastically increases not only the throughput of your experiment, it also decreases the influence of time bases variances. Many factors can influence the behavior of your test subjects and performing all tests simultaneously in similar environmental conditions removes some of these variances.

If the PhenoTyper is the body, then EthoVision XT is the brain. EthoVision XT can among other things program certain stimuli like light or sounds, automatically track the movement, and identify the behaviors of rats and mice. The PhenoTyper is designed to work with EthoVision XT, and thus data acquisition using them together works seamlessly.

EthoVision XT and PhenoTyper are constantly being developed with your feedback. We are always looking at how we can adapt our products to suit the latest research developments.



We are celebrating that more than 1,750 PhenoTypers are part of research in labs worldwide!


Customize your PhenoTyper

PhenoTyper 2 is very customizable to your research: Its simple plastic wall design can easily be adapted to accommodate any DIY or 3rd party device. Many walls are already available from simple novel cage testing to home cage environment and operant conditioning setups! PhenoTyper is designed to be used with EthoVision XT, the golden standard for behavioral analysis, hardware integration and multi modal analysis of laboratory rodents.

Each configuration consists of a bottom plate, four replaceable walls, and a PhenoTyper 2 Top Unit. Walls are transparent, but can optionally be replaced by (partially) opaque/matted walls to reduce reflection, which is useful for specific studies. You can also add a variety of add-ons to your PhenoTyper to adapt it to any specific research needs. 


Relevant blogs

Scientific collaboration at its best: Home cage monitoring reviewed

Scientific collaboration at its best: Home cage monitoring reviewed

The latest insights and views on home cage monitoring was reviewed by Grieco et al. A collaborative paper with an expert team on home cage behavior was published last week. This blog touches upon their findings!
A high-throughput method to screen natural behavior of mice

A high-throughput method to screen natural behavior of mice

Traditional standard tests with rats or mice are carried out immediately after human interference. Therefore, the behavior of the animals may not be natural and spontaneous.
Towards automated homecage monitoring of group housed rats

Towards automated homecage monitoring of group housed rats

Rodent social behavior is important in research on neuropsychiatric disorders, but major limitations hamper progress.
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