Skip to main content
DELTA Grants

A Horse in Your House?

Augmented Reality App Projects Life-Size Horse

Quarter horse with text "Making a Digital Horse"

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a horse available while learning how to care for it in the comfort of your dorm room or home? Well, now you can with the Trot to Trophy 2 TPR app developed through a partnership between College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), College of Veterinary Medicine and DELTA.

When this app is downloaded to your phone or laptop, you are prompted to scan your environment. Once this is done, you can project a life-sized quarter horse into the space you just scanned thanks to augmented reality (AR) technology — as simple as that! 

Students can use this tool and the others developed for the project to better understand overall horse health and anatomy. And, it is not just educational — it is fun! This app uses activities to guide students through course content.

There is a website called The Barn that serves as the central location for all the activities to live. Each activity is a stand alone experience developed for students to learn a particular skill or master a particular topic.

The app is available at no charge to a wide range of students from high school to graduate school who are interested in learning a wide range of equine science topics covered in various courses and levels at NC State. In these courses, students acquire knowledge about nutrition, anatomy, breeds and career options. 

In addition, the deliverables in this DELTA Exploratory Grant included an updated version of the “chat bot” branching dialog tool developed by DELTA, which simulates a text conversation with multiple professionals. Students assumed the role of the horse owner in educational scenarios and can ask questions using the chat bot about health, nutrition and management plans.

An example of the “chat bot” branching dialog tool developed by DELTA.

In previous versions of the chat bot, only one or two simulated experts would respond. In this version, all horse experts are included in suggesting the best solution to the issue presented in the assigned scenarios. Students learn to decipher targeted questions and which type of expert to direct these critical questions to in order to find the needed information to promote optimal health for their horse. Often, the best solution is found by talking to multiple professionals.

This is “The Barn” that houses the content for the Trot to Trophy 2 grant project.

Horseplay History

In 2015, DELTA partnered with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to create the original Trot to Trophy game. The pedagogical approach to the original version was to chunk content like nutrition or anatomy and build them into mini-games — then they were integrated into a single experience. 

A DELTA News article from 2015 describes the original version as a series of 15 mini-games presented as “a smart, interactive, visually stunning 2-D game that entertains and teaches at the same time. Players start out as a ranch hand cleaning stables at Hillcrest Ranch and level up as they master increasingly complex concepts of horse care and nutrition. Along the way they encounter the spirited El Diablo, compete against the evil Luchador and earn Horse Bucks for their accomplishments. As they play and compete, they learn.”

This trailer was created in 2015 to promote the original Trot to Trophy game.

Could your course content benefit from a partnership with DELTA? Visit the DELTA Grants website for information about all of the grants available.