The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a key model species for biological research. Trained humans can manipulate, inspect and dissect individual flies, but these operations are often rate-limiting bottlenecks for screening and experimentation. Here I present a high-speed, economical robot for handling non-anesthetized adult flies. Using machine vision the robot tracks a fly's thorax and gently grabs it ~400 ms after targeting. The robot can then translate and rotate the picked fly, inspect its phenotype, dissect or release it, and thereby rapidly prepare multiple flies sequentially for a wide range of experimental formats. In one illustration, the robot restrained flies and dissected the cuticle to permit two-photon imaging of neural dynamics. In another, the robot sorted flies by sex. The robot's tireless capacity for accurate, repeatable manipulations will enable experiments and biotechnology applications that would otherwise be totally infeasible, especially those requiring high-throughput capture, testing and assessment of individual fly attributes.