Virtalis Takes Haptic Cow to Overseas Markets
With most of the UK’s veterinary schools now Haptic Cow users, Virtalis is launching this unique veterinary trainer internationally. The system draws on virtual touch, or haptics, and enables students to carry out virtual rectal examinations on cows, with their movements being monitored by their instructor.
Haptic force feedback technology has been deployed in the Haptic Cow to create a virtual bovine reproductive tract, positioned within a seemingly empty fibreglass model of the rear half of a cow. The haptics device integrated into the Haptic Cow is the PHANTOM from the SensAble Group in Geomagic. This instrument makes it possible for users to suspend their disbelief and makes touching and palpating virtual objects highly realistic. In addition, because the cow’s organs are visible on the computer monitor, the instructor can see exactly what the student is doing and direct their movements, something that isn’t possible with a real animal. The Haptic Cow has a range of conditions the students can learn about and these are replicated at the touch of a button.
“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”, explained Prof Sarah Baillie of University of Bristol and product inventor. “We’ve developed a teaching protocol, so that the student learns initially to locate the uterus in different positions, mastering this fundamental skill before progressing on to fertility examinations and diagnosing pregnancy.”
“The benefits enjoyed by the UK users with Haptic Cow as an innovative and efficient training tool with a strong consideration for animal welfare gives a strong platform for its international sales”, said David Cockburn-Price, Virtalis MD.