VMS stands for Voluntary Milking Systems, and can also be known as AMS (Automatic Milking System). They are robots that milk dairy cows without the need for human labor and function based on the cow’s need. Each system works 24/7 and can hold 50-70 cows per unit. When a cow feels that she needs to be milked, she steps into a slot within the machine that will keep her still. A sensor within the system will read her ID and in some cases, the machine will provide something for the cow to munch on. A robotic arm on the side of the machine will sanitize the cow in order to prepare for milking, and then the milkers will be placed on the teats using lasers. The robot might take a few tries to place the milkers in the right position, but when it does, milk flows through tubes into a big tank. Once the milking is finished, the cow steps out and is free to go. The robots are connected to the farmer’s phone and send alerts if something is wrong, as well as provide a view of the machine through the cameras. These machines are very efficient and provide much relief to the farmer as it cuts the need for human labor. The robots operate entirely on their own and do not even need a supervisor. These machines are becoming a staple in farms and are another innovative example of the technological side of the food industry!
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