Dairy cows are pretty docile creatures, so as animals go, they're also pretty good candidates for handling via heavy machinery. And there may be no better task to automate than milking — it's repetitive, it's predictable, it's unpleasant. A pair of new robotic milk factories can do the job, using robotic teat washers, robot cups, instant milk analyzers, and robot teat stimulators.
Dornauf Dairy in Tasmania, Australia, has a brand-new automated, unmanned milking system, which can milk 24 cows simultaneously. The cows can be milked twice a day, ambling through a series of automated gates to reach the milking stations. Electronic collars help the robots identify them.
German-based GEA Farm Technologies also has a new a multi-station milking system called the MIone, which milks cows automatically. The milkers are manually attached to the teats for calibration, and then it can attach automatically, positioning itself beneath the udder and attaching to a teat using a suction system. The system cleans and stimulates the teats to start milk flow, and analyzes the milk on the spot. (The first three-ish minutes show the system being installed like a futuristic barn-raising, but it gets interesting around 3:10.)
next to tanks, this is the most disgusting use of machinery. Factory farming is nasty, and there is pus in your milk because their nipples get raw because machines are heartless like their creators.
So please try to avoid supporting machinery like this, if you want milk buy from a local farmer or at least check into the company you buy from.
Really now, buell? "Factory farming is nasty, and there is pus in your milk because their nipples get raw"
Do you have any evidence to back up those claims? Any primary or secondary sources?
These things are not new by any means. I saw one in action 5 years ago from a global suplier named Lely. That machine even carefully cleaned the `teats` before automated milking. It looked far more professional then these 2.
cookies, google it
buell - Automated milking systems are not necessarily just for factory farms anymore. They can be used on pasture systems. Automated milking on pasture grazing systems are already in use in New Zealand. The cows walk from the paddocks to the milking sheds on their own and are autonomously milked at a time of their own choosing leading to less stress on the animal.
Honestly does anyone else get tired of the relentless stream of negative and pessimistic comments on popsci?