(front, l-r) Dr. Stavros Yiannikouris, WSU equine surgery resident and Dr. Boel Fransson, WSU small animal surgeon and VALT director, use canine abdomen models that give an accurate feel of the size and space of a real laparoscopic surgery.
The VALT lab began training veterinarians in 2008 with very basic equipment, such as a box trainer that uses real instruments to teach hand-eye coordination necessary for routine procedures such as suturing. Later canine abdomen models were added that train surgeons in the feel and size of the abdominal cavity and organs. The virtual reality, or VR, trainer was installed in the lab in 2010. The VALT lab will also be adding an augmented reality, or AR trainer, a hybrid that combines virtual reality with haptic feedback.