The Haptic Cow, which allows students to perform virtual examinations of the insides of a cow using a touch-feedback device that mimics the feeling of real bovine anatomy is to be made available worldwide.

A virtual reality cow invented by a University of Bristol graduate is about to go global.

The Haptic Cow, created by Sarah Baillie, allows students to perform virtual examinations of the insides of a cow using a touch-feedback device that mimics the feeling of real bovine anatomy.

Haptic CowProf Baillie’s creation is already used at veterinary schools across the UK, and there are now plans to sell the device to the international market.

Prof Baillie said: “The virtual environment of the Haptic Cow simulates the bovine reproductive tract – including models of the cervix, uterus and ovaries – with a wide range of fertility cases, pregnancies and some examples of pathology.

“The concept has proven very popular, and students find it really useful because they can see what they’re doing on a screen and receive guidance from their instructor. It’s great to be able to offer it as a learning aid to international vet schools too.”

Students reach inside a fibreglass shell designed to represent the back end of a cow and connect with a specially designed robotic arm. A separate screen shows simplified representations of various structures, and this is matched by what students feel in the simulator.

An equine version has also been developed, and both the Haptic Cow and the Haptic Horse are being made available worldwide through Virtalis, the university’s commercial partner.

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