Organisms are adapted to environments where conditions are largely periodic (e.g. daily, yearly), and therefore partially predictable. They have evolved mechanisms to modulate their physiology and behaviour through time, using their internal clocks to effectively ‘model’ the future state of their environment. The study circadian insect behaviours has been limited by our methodological ability to classify and quantify behaviours over long durations, for a large number of individuals. I will present two open-source and high-throughput methods based on raspberry pi cameras that were built to address these limitations. First, the Ethoscope, which is primarily developed to study sleep in the laboratory. Second, the Sticky pi, a smart insect trap that can score when, where and which insects are active. I will use these two tools as examples to highlight the tremendous opportunities that, as a scientific community, we are given to develop, share and adapt both hardware and software. Such collective and distributed ownership of open research tools, I will argue, often leads to very innovative research.