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Collaborative Robots (Cobots) revolutionising small scale milking industry

Smart automation is no longer limited to factories. This could be extended from smart farms to refrigeration through the intelligent implementation of autonomous robots, especially the collaborative robots so-called Cobots. Cobots optimize the production, enhance the competitiveness share the labour workforce in the field and offer a low Return on Investment – ROI [payback period]


Traditional robotic approach for milking:

The traditional robotic approach for milking has a camera, and spray system and when triggered it sends a 6-foot pipe into the space of the cow which is long with a sprayer underneath the cow to apply the disinfectant. The whole process is time-consuming with complexity also requires expensive installation into the milking parlour floor and also needs huge fencing to safeguard the labour force. The conventional robotics technology requires highly professional programmable and skill training for the employees. The other approach is the modular system of robots that even reduces the complexity of installation the floor-mounted and modular approach occupies huge space that in turn reduces the number of stalls of milking available resulting in the reduction of the output. The biggest challenge in the conventional and modular robotic operation fails on the power breakdown which leads to the injury of the cow and causes damage to the rotary milk stall due to the malfunction of the pipe and sprayer. Moreover, it adds to a huge cost to repair, and reprogram and also increases the downtime.

Cobots dynamics in Goshalas  [Milking Systems]

Cobots technology is a 4.0 industrial revolution technology that finds immense applications in farm practices and animal husbandry, especially the milking operations where there is a high demand for an intensive labour workforce. It breaks the chain of a decade-long shortage of qualified milkers. The autonomous robots [Cobots] automate the intense-labour process of manually disinfecting cows’ udder before and after being milked. Cobots also extends enormous benefits especially the enhancement in the milking process than the traditional robotic technologies.

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“Cobots also extends enormous benefits especially the enhancement in the milking process than the traditional robotic technologies. ”

Cobots have 6-Degrees of Freedom (DOF), an in-house HD camera, a gripper with highly sensing systems, touchscreen point-and-click application. They are robust, quiet mobile, maintenance-free, and safe operation installed in Goshalas (Milking area). The cobots have an onboard computer with a teach pendant, easily installed in the milking space and also have a disinfectant storage tank, pumps, hydraulic valves, control and automation process control. Cobots have in-built safety features, don’t require safety caging and stop their operation through a highly sensing system if someone enters or touches the operations. Most importantly it does injure the cow udder. It has a flexible spray arm that bends and is also spring-loaded to return to the functioning position. Cobots are user-friendly and easily programmable by dairymen.

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