Illinois Cow is an app created for Veterinary Students as a supplementary study aid to their traditional dissection laboratory, but is gaining interest in other areas such as comparative anatomy, animal sciences and agriculture and is easy to use by students at any level. Illinois Cow is unique in that uses Augmented Reality to display interactive 3D anatomy, when your device camera is pointed at a trigger image.
The trigger image can be downloaded and printed from http://vetmed.illinois.edu/illinois-cow/wp-content/uploads/sites/49/2018/05/cow-trigger.jpg
The Android Phone or Tablet serves as a magic lens that, when aimed at the provided target image, lets the user see the cow and/or its different anatomical systems clearly, from any perspective. The users sense of proprioception helps them to learn the relative placements of organs. The app allows the user to engage with the cow at life-size scale, or, as a smaller desktop model. The user can place the target image on a tabletop, on their floor, or hang it on a wall. The system provides an extensive set of controllable annotations that help the student to learn, drill, and practice the locations of over 100 anatomical elements in the cow.
The user can zoom in and out of the 3D cow with a finger motion, walk (physically) around the (virtual) cow and / or move the target image to view the cow from different perspectives in 3D, and turn the visibility of anatomical systems on or off by pressing buttons with recognizable anatomical system icons. A dropdown menu of anatomical systems and structures, organized hierarchically head to tail, exterior to interior, and top to bottom, walks the user through the anatomy of the cow. Additionally, the user can turn on visual markers to indicate the locations of structures commonly studied by veterinary students in a dissection lab. When an item in the dropdown menu is chosen, the app automatically turns off any structures that naturally cover it, and marks it with an 3D arrow, dotted line shape, or ring. For the gastrointestinal system, if you touch the arrows that are displayed it prints the name of the organ the touched arrow is pointing toward. The user has the option to change their perspective by moving around the marker, to zoom, to turn other systems on or off to better see where it lies in relation to other organs, and can even freeze the image on the screen. Additional tools include a button to flip the cow upside down, or on its side, a button to control the visibility of the rib numbers, and a reset button, which turns the visibility of all structures back on.
More detailed instructions and suggestions for navigating the app can be found at:
Illinois Cow helps Veterinary students be better prepared for their anatomy lab, and may potentially reduce the number of animals required in dissection laboratories.