Tools for in vivo phenotyping of newborn rodents (mice and rats) are pivotal to study animal models of paediatric diseases. To this aim, size and immaturity of newborn animals raise great technical difficulties. We constituted an engineering core (mechanical, electronics, optics, computer science) to develop new methods and devices, and make possible to detect and study early neurodevelopmental disorders in vivo. To date, our phenotyping capability has already no equivalent in the world. Our bio-engineering activity received several awards in the last few years.