That’s why veterinarian and computer scientist Sarah Baillie has created the “Haptic Cow,” a virtual, touch-feedback device that mimics the feeling of real bovine anatomy, placed inside a fiberglass model of a cow’s rear end.
“With this technology, students can feel something that feels like the inside of a real cow, but I or another instructor can be following their movements on a monitor,” said Baillie, who teaches at the Royal Veterinary College in London. “This means we can say, ‘Come back a bit or go left a bit.’ It actually means you can direct them.”
Not only can professors follow a student’s exact movements and critique the technique, but they can also keep track of how much force is being applied. If a fledgling vet gets too rough and exceeds the number of Newtons considered safe by experienced vets, virtual Bessie will belt out a cautionary “Moo-oo!”
(image credit: Sarah Baillie/Royal Veterinary College)