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The History of Cow Robots

Robotic milking devices are robots that milk cows without the use of human labor. These robots have become a staple in many farms in the past two decades as they increase farm efficiency and provide some much-needed aid to the farmer. Their popularity among farmers has increased in the past years, but they have been in development since the late 1900s. The milking systems were first commercially launched in the 1990s and gained traction within the dairy community because of the way they alleviated labor from the farmer. There was an initial dilemma of how to get the cow to go to the milking station. Studies found that even a cow that is ready to be milked will not voluntarily walk to the robot, meaning that some changes had to made. This inspired the addition of feeding stations at the exit of the robot in order to encourage the cows to go the robot when they need milking. Today, cow robots are gaining popularity and are becoming a staple for more and more farms. Lely, a Dutch company, and DeLaval, a Swedish company, are the leading manufacturers of these systems, and are seeing great success!