Robots are changing the way we milk cows

Posted at 9:50 AM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 11:50:25-04

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    STORRS, Conn. (WTIC/WCCT) — UConn’s dairy farm is known for having one of the best dairy herds in the country. Now, advanced technology is helping provide research on how to study and manage herds.

The university’s Animal Sciences department is one of the first in the country to have self-milking cow robots. Yeah, you read that right.

It allows for milking sessions on the cow’s own will.

“Every cow can be at her own schedule and we don’t have to force them into our schedule,” Animal Sciences department head Steven Zinn said.

Each of the more than 80 cows are trained to go to the robot when she is ready to pump milk. The robot cleans and pumps. Then, after six to eight minutes and 30-50 pounds of milk later, the milking units detach and the cow knows to walk away. The robots not only allow efficiency but also access to data collected from each cow.

Each cow wears a smart device that continuously collects the data, providing research for studying herds and cutting down labor time so workers can focus on other areas.

The also means the university can help train the next generation of technology savvy animal sciences students for the future of dairy-farming.

“Students actually have experience working with each unit and understanding how they work. They then have the opportunity that when they go into the industry they will be able to identify and then teach others the technology,” Zinn said.

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