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Robots Milking Cows

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the udder-insanity dept.

Science 31

axlrosen writes "The Globe has an article about robotic cow-milking machines. The cows are trained to walk up to the machine, and then "a laser locates the cow's nipples, which are cleaned by rollers coated with disinfectant before being milked by long, white suction tubes on the unit's milking claw. Vacuum-activated rubber rings at the end of each tube massage the nipple, prompting the cow to release its milk.""

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hahahah (2, Interesting)

morgothan (201770) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264037)

hahahaha april fools hahahaha

dumb ass

Re:hahahah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3264199)


By Marc Levy, Associated Press, 03/01/02 (emphasis added)

Re:hahahah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3264224)

jesus, i hope that "score:2 interesting" is an april fools joke.

Re:hahahah (2, Informative)

jaxdahl (227487) | more than 12 years ago | (#3265615)

No, really, this isn't a false article. My dad is a dairy farm technician/dealer and he's known about these for a while.. they cost around $100,000-$200,000 apiece. One company that is working on trial products is this company: Boumatic [] , their robotics 'page' is here [] .

Re:hahahah (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 12 years ago | (#3276706)

What frustrated me was that this article was real, so I started thinking some of the other articles were also real but inane. I thought they were trying for something new this year.


Imagine a ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3264041)

I've got this. It's called my right hand.

Mastitis (4, Insightful)

cymen (8178) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264107)

Plus the computer has to monitor the flow of the milk to check for globs of mastitis material and maybe check the udder for hardness. In my opinion this sounds interesting but milking parlers have really made the whole milking process pretty efficient. Somehow the human putting on the unit and observing the health of the cow makes me a bit more comfortable with the system.

Re:Mastitis (1)

cesther (65813) | more than 12 years ago | (#3267137)

I saw two of these at the mega Field Days [] show last year in NZ. From memory one was US manufactured and the other Swiss or German. In addition to the point made about human contact being a 'good thing' for the monitoring of the cows heath two things struck me about these.

1/ They were bloody expensive, especially once you converted from US$ or DM or SF to the pacific peso aka NZ$.

2/ They were very slow, watching the robot locate the teats was painfully glacial.

It 'may' be economic for farmers with small herds in countries where they recieve massive state subsidies but......

Re:Mastitis (2)

cymen (8178) | more than 12 years ago | (#3267666)

Slow and expensive sounds horrible to me... I worked on a farm here in America every summer while growing up. They now use the NZ style of rotational grazing plus they put in a milking parlor using some NZ techniques. Some of the stuff that you guys come up with in NZ is pretty neat. I liked the idea of the large round concrete platform that rotated using water as a friction reducing fluid. I don't have more details but basically the idea was the cow gets one and by the time the thing has gone 3/4 around the cow gets off and is done being milked.

I wish I knew more about the results of subsidies. At heart I just hate the idea as it smacks of a quick fix and I really want to blame some things on subsidies for the results we have today but I don't know enough to comment really...


Re:Mastitis (1)

mge (120046) | more than 12 years ago | (#3268042)

Dad worked on the first Rotary milking shed installed in our district (197?). The cows walked on, Dad put the cups on, cow goes round, cams turn off suction, cups fall off, cow backs off. This milked 180 cows in aprox 3 hrs.

Every morning.

Every night.

and people wonder how I can put with PHBs ?

Re:Mastitis (2)

cymen (8178) | more than 12 years ago | (#3268425)

Yeah, my brother was going to become a farmer here in the US but it just isn't possible financially. Least not in any way I look at it...

Working on the farm during the summer vacation was enough medicine for me :). It's great physical work and if you have something to think about the chores aren't too bad but everyday for the rest of your life? Not me.

Man I thought it said (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264136)

Robot killing cows, and I was like thank god we don't actually have to have a human slaughter anything anymore.

new NS missles (1)

eamonman (567383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264149)

With this technology, we can now directly seek and attack the nipples of our country's enemies. Adding this as aonther stage on our already intelligent weapons... we could really wreak havoc to our enemies. You'd think they'd have to be bathing or swimming at the time. But with highly tuned IR sensors, it just might work.

The big economic question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3264173)

Where would an invention like this be more profitable -- in the farming industry, or the adult-novelties industry?

Fuck this (-1, Troll)

Profane Motherfucker (564659) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264218)

Every time some motherfucking 'farm innovation' comes along, some shit for brains motherfucker rants about how great said fucking invention is and how said fucking invention will somehow make it possible for the frothing legions of motherless fucks who make a living by farming to be more and more profitable.

That, my dear asshole reader, is a steamy crock of piss.

Here's what shit like this does, whether or not this is some fucking joke: it makes milk cheaper. Simple fucking econ, and I'm not fucking econ major. If some cocksucker can get more fucking milk from his fat fuck cows, he can sell more fucking milk to a market already soaked in the shit. Result: lower milk prices. Yea for consumer, pisser for farmer. In the end, farmer is fucked, he paid $640,000 for robotic milkers or whatever the fuck it happens to be, and now his shit is worth slightly less than a bucket of vomit.

The only motherfuckers who benefit from this type of bullshit are monstrous motherfucking corporations who can make money even by selling their shit at a 1% margin.

End of fucking story.

Re:Fuck this (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264695)

Milk is so insanely overpriced. I for one will be glad the day comes when most mundane tasks such as farming are mostly automated.

Re:Fuck this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3265183)

If you think this technology will lower the price of milk appreciably, you're out of your mind. Most of the price you pay is markup by middlemen. Check the market price of raw milk and you'll realize farmers don't get paid dick.

Re:Fuck this (2)

TwP (149780) | more than 12 years ago | (#3266529)

Milk is so insanely overpriced. I for one will be glad the day comes when most mundane tasks such as farming are mostly automated.

Can you say "government subsidies" boys and girls? I knew you could.

For the American dairy farmer to copmete in the global market, the US Government subsidises the dairy industry. This drives up the prices of dairy products locally and allows American dairy products to be dumped on other markets at a much lower cost (because the government is paying the price difference).

So, when you are paying $2.50 (US) a gallon for milk think about this: some of your tax money has already been spent to purchse that milk. You are paying twice for the same product. This is true of any governemnt subsidised industry.

Re:Fuck this (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3266719)

not just subsidies, price supports that artificially pay (mostly corporate) farmers above the market price. and who buys the most milk? young parents, not the wealthiest demographic.

What a waste of tax dollars. it's ridiculous.

Wrong-o, dicktwist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3269513)

I know other posters have made this point already, but they haven't given it the throrough fucking airing it deserves. The price of milk does not go down. The price of milk *never* goes down, thanks to some fucking communist 1930's-era price supports that have long outlived whatever dumbass bullshit purpose they ever had. Go ask Jim Jeffords about his fucking dairy compact. People have been fucking *prosecuted* for selling milk for less than the government mandated bullshit price. I wish I still had the fucking link for that story but suffice it to say, if you think you can just squeeze some cow's tit in a bucket and sell it for whatever you want, then you my friend are sorely fucking mistaken.

Ever hear of government dick cheese? Ever wonder where government dick cheese comes from? You probably thought it was just another stupid ass bleeding heart liberal handout for old hags and smelly winos. Shows how much your dumb ass knows. Government dick cheese is what the fuckhead politicians came up with to dispose of all the excess bovine nipple discharge that farmers eagerly produce but no one wants to buy at rigoddamndiculously inflated government prices. So the government buys, with money stolen from you and me, fucking *cheese* in order to prop up demand for the fetid white cow juice that couldn't be sold. The cheese is allowed to fester in a warehouse until it gets nice and green and then it is passed out to the fucking winos to enjoy with their Mad Dog so they can continue their parasitic lifestyle. Any article about how milk is being produced more efficiently should be subtitled "Consumers, taxpayers to be assraped even more. Archer Daniel Motherfucker stock soars."

Now that, gentle reader, is the fucking end of story.

steven hawking voice (1)

nuscient (413745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264392)

My aunt and i being dairy farmers have known of these for years.
We feel ours would need two mods:
1) a hawking voice
2) air powered cylinder with steel pipe
This is so when the bove(cow) kicked the snot out of the bot(robot), as they often do to the milkmades, the pipe wold smack the bove while yelling in hawking "god damn you hag".

tecno dairy humor


honold (152273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264406)



Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3264809)


Yes... of course you do.

Kewl (3, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264429)

> Vacuum-activated rubber rings at the end of each tube massage the nipple, prompting the cow to release its milk.

Can we have several of these at the local sperm bank?

When I saw the date/time (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264531)

I thought, "HAHA The first April Fools Day post."


mad robot disease ? (1)

gokulpod (558749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264564)

just wondering whether robots can be infected by it ? that would pretty much sink us into terminator realms

yet another cow machine (1)

bitpusherdotorg (544243) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264772)

Doesn't any of this frighten anyone? I place this machine only a few steps below the Cow raping machine, which keeps the sows pregnant and lactating. Sadly, I cannot express much enthusiasm over such a machine. I am not a vegetarian but I do not drink milk or eat dairy products, and I feel that it has had a positive effect upon my digestive system. Thus I may feel morally superior in realizing that my habits do not contribute to the manufacture of such devices.

Re:yet another cow machine WTF? (1)

RandomInAction (566930) | more than 12 years ago | (#3272930)

WTF is your point?? A cow raping machine, if you have no moral problems with eating meat, then how is this repugnant? Your eating habits kill cows/steers, do they not? Could you please make a point or a consecutive set of points? WTF is your point, you anaemic meat eating morally superior Cow rights hero. Please make a point.

No AF here! (2)

nordicfrost (118437) | more than 12 years ago | (#3264973)

I've seen this on the news here in Norway. Some farmers joined in on an automated barn, with this automatic milking system. That was over a year ago, though. The cows go to the machine and get a snack when they are in the little milking booth. An inductive radio chip necklace tells the computer wich cow is in the booth and gives detailed statistics to the farmer.

Actually... (1)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 12 years ago | (#3267810)

Automated milking machines have been around for many years. At least two decades, actually.

When robots start fondling goats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3276758)

They can truly replace farmers!
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