The technique of milking dairy animals, particularly dairy cattle, without the use of human labor is known as robotic milking. This robotic milking process is also known as automatic milking. In the late twentieth century, the automatic milking system (AMS) was developed. It has been commercially available since the early 1990s. The heart of such systems that allow total automation of the milking process is a type of agricultural robot. In most systems, computers and specific herd management software are used. It was also used to maintain tabs on cows’ health.
Automatic milking allows the cow to choose her own milking time and interval, rather than being milked as part of a group at predetermined milking periods. Robotic milking involves the entire automation of the milking process since the cow can choose to be milked at any time during 24 hours. The milking unit consists of a milking machine, a teat position sensor (usually a laser), a robotic arm for automated teat-cup application and removal, and a gate system to control cow traffic.
Benefits of Robotic Milking:
There is no longer a need for labor:
The farmer is no longer tied to the milking process and its rigorous timetable, and he may spend his time watching over the animals, feeding them, and so on.
Increased milking frequency:
It is possible to milk up to three times per day, however most people only milk 2.5 times per day. Because less milk is stored on average, the udder may experience less tension and the cow may be more comfortable. More frequent milking improves milk yield per cow, but much of this increase is made up of water rather than solids.
Every cow and every visit receives the identical milking method, which is unaffected by the fact that the cows are milked by different people. Because the four milking cups are removed individually, an empty quarter does not remain connected while the other three are being processed, lowering the danger of injury.
The herd’s management:
More data collection options are available with the use of computer control. By examining patterns in the herd, such as the responsiveness of milk output to feedstuff changes, the farmer can improve herd management. Individual cow histories can be reviewed, and alarms can be set to alert the farmer if any unusual changes occur, which could suggest disease or injury.
Robotic milking has the following disadvantages:
The global milking robots market was worth US$1562.6 million in 2019. With a CAGR of 10.3 percent from 2021 to 2027, the market will be worth US$3126.9 million by the end of 2027.
Cost of Electricity Is Increasing:
Electricity is required to power the robots.
The level of complexity has risen:
While technological advancements entail increasing equipment complexity, the automatic milking system’s milking unit’s added complexity over conventional systems increases reliance on manufacturer maintenance services, potentially rising operational expenses.