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Climbing Test - Measures Vertical Activity in Rodents

Product Code:36103

Climbing behavior can be of interest for the most diverse applications.

The Ugo Basile automated system replicates its first manual application in the Pain field, for measuring Pain-Depressed behavior. It showed that, while mild analgesics block pain-depressed climbing, strong analgesics fail to alleviate depression of climbing (Santos et al. 2023, “Climbing behavior by mice as an endpoint for preclinical assessment of drug effects in the absence and presence of pain”, Frontiers).

This product warranty can be extended up to 24 Additional Months.
Discover more HERE!


The device, developed in collaboration with the laboratory of Prof. Sidney Negus from Virginia Commonwealth University, provides a measurement of the vertical movement of rodents, a parameter which has not been widely investigated so far, in spite of the fact that rodents are animals that live in a 3D space and hence the analysis of XY position only is a limitation in many current studies.

However, climbing behavior and vertical movements have been previously studied in non-automated experiments to investigate many fields, from muscle strength (Ueno et al. 2022), to antidepressants (Perona et al. 2008), stroke (Jin et al., 2017), Parkinson’s (Sundstrom et al., 1990), sex-differences (Borbelyova et al., 2019), locomotor activity and kinematics (Green et al., 2012), neuroleptics and dopamine agonists (Costall et al., 1982; Pinsky et al., 1988; Medvedev et al., 2013), XYZ activity (Wexler et al. 2018), opioid receptors (Michael-Titus et al., 1989), neuropathic and cancer pain (Falk et al., 2017).

The Ugo Basile Climbing System aims to provide a simple and automated tool to measure vertical climbing movements within a grid cylinder to inform all the scientists that are interested in this crucial parameter for their research.

Climbing Test System Components

A load cell underneath the aluminum base (diameter 12 cm) provides the automated start of the test once the animal leaves the base and starts climbing over the cylinder (height 25.5 cm) and its ceiling, thanks to the 5x5mm internal grid.

The output parameters, stored in the electronic unit and exportable in Excel, include the %climbing, the number and duration of climbing episodes, the climbing time, the maximum and average climbing height and the total activity while climbing.



Conductive sensors to track Z movements

Automated measurement of time climbing, distance travelled, time on ceiling, climbing episodes

Load cell floor

Automated start of the test

Electronic unit

Controlled by touch screen and with internal memory

USB and LAN data saving

Easy export into excel and data security



4,3 inches touch-screen (Resistive)


4,3 inches touch-screen (Resistive), PC

Power Requirement

Universal input 100-240 VAC, 50-60Hz, 200W MAX

Sound Level


Operating Temperature

18°C to 25°C

Endpoints and statistics:

Max height, Average height, Average distance covered, Total climbing time, Total time on roof, Latency on the single climbing event



Start/Stop By Start/Stop button on the climbing cage
Tare By Tare button on the climbing cage
Experiment duration Max 3600 seconds
Height sensors 17 rings + 1 on the roof (capacitive sensors)
Height accuracy 6mm
Weight accuracy 0.1g
Data Acquisition Via X-PAD software (included)
Data Portability By USB flash drive (included) or LAN connection
Data Output Results table in .csv



Cylinder diameter 12 cm

Cylinder Height

25,5 cm



Shipping Weight


Packing Dimensions




Warranty 36103 is covered by a 12-months warranty + 12 months after product registration

Certain diseases and conditions affect rodents’ climbing abilities. For example, neurodegenerative disorders can impair their motor skills and climbing behavior. Researchers use these changes in climbing behavior to study and test potential treatments for such diseases.

In summary, climbing behavior in rats and mice is not just a simple activity but a multifaceted aspect of their biology with implications for their well-being, natural behavior, and various fields of research.

It provides valuable insights into their physiology, behavior, and responses to environmental and genetic factors, making it an essential component of biological and biomedical studies involving these rodents.

  • Ethological Perspective: climbing is a natural behavior in rats and mice in the wild. They use climbing to access food, escape from predators, explore their environment, and find shelter. Studying climbing behavior allows researchers to gain insights into their natural habitat and evolutionary adaptations.
  • Behavior and Physiology: climbing behavior reflects the rodents’ muscular and skeletal capabilities. It involves coordination, strength, and agility. Understanding their climbing abilities can provide insights into their neuromuscular systems, balance, and sensory perception.
  • Environmental Enrichment: in laboratory settings, providing opportunities for climbing is an important aspect of environmental enrichment. Rats and mice kept in captivity benefit from a stimulating environment that mimics their natural habitat. Climbing structures in cages promote physical and mental exercise, reducing stress and improving overall well-being.
  • Research Models: Rats and mice are commonly used as model organisms in biomedical research. Their climbing behavior can be relevant to various research areas, including neuroscience (study of motor skills and balance), behavior (exploring effects of drugs or genetic modifications), and psychology (studying spatial cognition and learning).
  • Disease Models: from stroke to depression, anxiety, skeletomuscular performance, Parkinson’s, pain, neuropathic pain and cancer pain.
36103 Mouse Climbing Test (What's in the box)


Mouse climbing test system for vertical movement assessment, including 4 channel electronic unit with USB for data export in Excel, climbing cylinder and ceiling (diameter 12cm, height, 25.5cm).


Electronic unit for Mouse climbing test system


Climbing test measuring cylinder with climbing cylinder and ceiling (diameter 12cm, height, 25.5cm) and divider.


36103-002 Climbing test additional measuring cylinder with climbing cylinder and ceiling (diameter 12cm, height, 25.5cm) and divider
Extra warranty (Standard 12 months + 12 months with product registration)


UB Care 12 Additional hardware warranty extension 12 months for SKU 36103


UB Care 24 Additional hardware warranty extension 24 months for SKU 36103

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