Animal models are widely used to explore the mechanisms underlying sensorimotor control and learning. However, current experimental paradigms allow only limited control over task difficulty and cannot provide detailed information on forelimb kinematics and dynamics. Here we propose a novel robotic device for use in motor learning investigations with rats. The compact, highly transparent, three degree-of-freedom manipulandum is capable of rendering nominal forces of 2 N to guide or perturb rat forelimb movements, while providing objective and quantitative assessments of endpoint motor performance in a 50×30 mm(2) planar workspace. Preliminary experiments with six healthy rats show that the animals can be familiarized with the experimental setup and are able to grasp and manipulate the end-effector of the robot. Further, dynamic perturbations and guiding force fields (i.e., haptic tunnels) rendered by the device had significant influence on rat motor behavior (ANOVA, ). This approach opens up new research avenues for future characterizations of motor learning stages, both in healthy and in stroke models.