Texas colleges bring canine anatomy VR to SXSW

Texas A&M’s Veterinary College and Visualization Department helped created a virtual exam room where vets can learn canine anatomy

A collaboration between the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Visualization are hitting the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference to combine virtual reality and canine anatomy.

According to the Department of Visualization:

“Donning a HTC Vive virtual reality headset, SXSW patrons can learn about canine anatomy using a virtual teaching tool developed by recent Master of Fine Arts graduate Brian Smith. With the device’s handheld controllers, viewers can assemble and manipulate a virtual dog skeleton and attach and flex its muscles. The application is being developed in collaboration with the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science at Texas A&M.”

Not only does this give conference goers a cool way to learn about canine anatomy, it will also be a bonus for veterinary students if implemented in the classroom. As KBTX-TV points out, learning animal biology and anatomy can be messy, and costly to acquire the supplies they need. With virtual reality, there’s no mess. Better yet, lower overhead costs for schools.

So how did they do it? The Visualization department took high definition scans of dog bones for their virtual reality program. Students who play in this “virtual exam room” can “use “a special remote [to] pick up the bones. They can even assemble the bones and exam an arm or leg from nearly any angle,” writes KBTX-TV.

Check out the simulation in action in this report from KBTX-TV.

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