Robots: The Future of Milking?

Jul 15, 2013

Researchers are trying to help find a solution for the ease of integration into current milking systems. There is no question that automated milking saves farmers time and money. Integrating a robotic milking system will add countless benefits once the integration has been smoothly transitioned.


Agri­cul­ture has switched from the fam­i­ly farm to the cor­po­rate farm, from walk­ing to plow the field to using vehi­cles like trac­tors and from milk­ing by human hand to milk­ing by robot hand. But, how viable is it for the economy?

Accord­ing to an arti­cle by Robot­ics Trends, over 10,000 com­mer­cial farms world­wide use auto­mat­ic or robot­ic milk­ing sys­tems, and these sys­tems are esti­mat­ed to grow – with up to 20 per­cent of cows being milked by them by 2020.

While farm­ers like the auto­mat­ed milk­ing because it saves time, there is a ques­tion as to how it can be inte­grat­ed into the cur­rent sys­tems effec­tive­ly. The Euro­pean Union is doing a study of this effec­tive­ness over the next three years.

They will try to fig­ure whether auto­mat­ed milk­ing is eco­nom­i­cal­ly viable, and how it will be adopt­ed. They are also try­ing to deter­mine a way to inte­grate auto­mat­ed milk­ing, while also reduc­ing ener­gy costs.

The analy­sis is going to con­sist of data from the milk­ing robot, ener­gy and water usage, grass mea­sure­ment and eco­nom­ic data. All of this will be ana­lyzed and com­pared to the ener­gy costs and the pro­duc­tion costs of auto­mat­ed milking.

All over the world, farm­ers adopt these robot­ic milk­ing process­es because it improves their lifestyle. They do not have to go out and man­u­al­ly milk the cows, espe­cial­ly on the larg­er dairy farms. Plus, it reduces the man­u­al labor need­ed, which reduces their labor costs and increas­es their revenue.

How­ev­er, the biggest issue for inte­gra­tion is how to inte­grate this sort of robot­ic sys­tem into a grass-fed dairy farm, as opposed to an indoor feed­ing sys­tem. This may prove more dif­fi­cult, hence the EU study.

The study is hop­ing to give farm­ers the infor­ma­tion they need to make informed deci­sions about auto­mat­ed milk­ing process­es so they can make effec­tive deci­sions about the future of their milk­ing practices.

Robots​.com, a cer­ti­fied inte­gra­tor of indus­tri­al robot­ic arms from Fanuc, Motoman, ABB, Uni­ver­sal Robots, and KUKA, doesn’t sell milk­ing robots. How­ev­er, we do sell sev­er­al robots to the agri­cul­tur­al indus­try – robots that pal­letize bags of feed, grain, manure, etc., as well as robots that han­dle fresh meat, dairy and produce.

If you would like infor­ma­tion on automa­tion and the agri­cul­tur­al indus­try, con­tact Robots​.com today online or at 8777626881.

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