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Scent Training for Animals

An automated odour training system for animals that is more accurate and easier to use than existing systems.

Systems used to train animals to detect target odours are typically not optimised for discrimination training and are complex to set-up and prone to error. This new, automated, device is easier to use, reduces errors and gives greater flexibility to improve training results.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has designed a novel olfactory training system, demonstrated with rodents, which enables the presentation of ‘real-world’ samples.


  • Time Saving — offers a fully automated sample presentation system and allows several animals to be trained or worked concurrently.
  • Robust Sampling — improved ability to control contamination effects to ensure animals are trained on and detect the correct odours.
  • Reduced Errors — enables researchers to present the source of odour to the animal and reduce the risk of error and contamination.
  • Easy Operation — offers a low-complexity solution to odour presentation and improved flexibility with regard to training sequences and programmes.
  • Compatible — operates using software which is compatible with leading operant chamber software. This allows responses to odours to be recorded by the operant chamber software and then subsequently instruct the carousel to progress to the next step.

More Information

For more information about licensing this technology, or to speak to us about our other medical and life sciences related IP, please contact us.

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Ploughshare is your gateway to a portfolio of world-class life science and other technology solutions from Dstl, the MOD’s research and development division.