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Sparse manipulation of neuron excitability during free behavior is critical for identifying neural substrates of behavior. Genetic tools for precise neuronal manipulation exist in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, but behavioral tools are still lacking to identify potentially subtle phenotypes only detectible using high-throughput and high spatiotemporal resolution. We developed three assay components that can be used modularly to study natural and optogenetically induced behaviors. FlyGate automatically releases flies one at a time into an assay. FlyDetect tracks flies in real time, is robust to severe occlusions, and can be used to track appendages, such as the head. GlobeDisplay is a spherical projection system covering the fly's visual receptive field with a single projector. We demonstrate the utility of these components in an integrated system, FlyPEZ, by comprehensively modeling the input-output function for directional looming-evoked escape takeoffs and describing a millisecond-timescale phenotype from genetic silencing of a single visual projection neuron type.