Features

June 2013 Issue

Robo-Tuffy Provides Hands-on Training

Veterinary students can practice emergency skills on the robotic cat and learn from their mistakes.

Students honing their emergency skills at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine owe gratitude to a special feline named Fluffy, who doesn’t meow and never needs a litter box. Fluffy is a robotic cat equipped with a mechanical pulse and heart, artificial lungs and electronic hardware and software capable of simulating cardiac arrest, lung diseases, shock and other medical conditions. She and a canine version named Jerry are believed to be the first of their kind used in veterinary schools. Think of Fluffy as a high-tech pet version of the popular battery-operated board game Operation, which tests players’ hand-eye coordination and motor skills.

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