Robot Meets Cow

From the classroom to the battlefield, robots have been making their occupational debut in some of the unlikeliest of places. Now they’re heading to the farm to take on jobs as cow milkers. Developed in Europe, the robotic milking technology is allowing cows to be milked any time they want, simply by walking up to a robot and letting the machine do its work. And because dairy cows are almost always pregnant (in order for them to lactate), the ability to be milked more frequently goes a long way in increasing their comfort. In addition to milking, the robotic milkers scan cows’ stomachs, gauge milking rates, and monitor such stats as the amount of milk produced, how much a cow eats, and how many steps it takes.

From the classroom to the battlefield, robots have been making their occupational debut in some of the unlikeliest of places. Now they’re heading to the farm to take on jobs as cow milkers. Developed in Europe, the robotic milking technology is allowing cows to be milked any time they want, simply by walking up to a robot and letting the machine do its work. And because dairy cows are almost always pregnant (in order for them to lactate), the ability to be milked more frequently goes a long way in increasing their comfort.

In addition to milking, the robotic milkers scan cows’ stomachs, gauge milking rates, and monitor such stats as the amount of milk produced, how much a cow eats, and how many steps it takes. The technology is already catching on in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New York, where farmers are offering positive feedback despite the robots’ hefty price tag. According to some satisfied farmers, the robotic milkers—priced at up to $250,000 for a single unit—are worth it because of their capacity to cut labor costs and make work schedules more flexible.

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