Virtual cow rectum

November 9, 2009

How else are vet students going to learn to palpate correctly? In all seriousness, this is a really big business. One of our friends in Colombia has a very lucrative business in surrogate cow moms – and palpating the cow to determine whether she is ready to impregnate is a huge part of the business. Full article on Wired.


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!”

via Neatorama


2 Responses to “Virtual cow rectum”

  1. dclark1983 Says:

    I mean, all they had to do was go to backwoods Alabama and ask Jethro the farm hand. He can let you know how far down the cow will moo at ya 🙂 there I go doing the man thing again

    • shawncita Says:

      Ha! True enough…although the bit about it being big business is definitely true – our buddy has doubled his ranch size twice since he began this artificial cattle insemination business. The worst thing that happened to them last year was that his best “checker” developed a repetitive stress injury (similar to carpal tunnel syndrome) in his shoulder from palpating too many cows – he had to take a few months off!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: