Electrophysiological recording of neuronal action potentials from behaving animals requires portable, precise and reliable devices for positioning of multiple microelectrodes in the brain. We propose a semi-automatic microdrive system for independent positioning of up to 8 electrodes (or tetrodes) in a rat (or larger animals). Device is intended to be used in chronic, long term recording applications in freely moving animals. Our design is based on independent stepper motors with lead screws which will offer single steps of ~ μm semi-automatically controlled from the computer. Microdrive system prototype for one electrode was developed and tested. Because of the lack of the systematic test procedures dedicated to such applications, we propose the evaluation of the prototype similar to ISO norm for industrial robots. To this end we designed and implemented magnetic linear and rotary encoders that provided information about electrode displacement and motor shaft movement. On the basis of these measurements we estimated repeatability, accuracy and backlash of the drive. According to the given assumptions and preliminary tests, the device should provide greater accuracy than hand-controlled manipulators available on the market. Automatic positioning will also shorten the course of the experiment and improve the acquisition of signals from multiple neuronal populations.