Australia’s First Robotic Dairy
Will help farm owners to focus on managing farm system rather than milking.
By Robotics Trends' News Sources - Filed May 15, 2012

Australia’s first robotic rotary dairy has been opened in a commercial pilot farm in Quamby Brook, Tasmania.

The Dornauf family, which owns the dairy farm, had agreed to install the Automatic Milking Rotary (AMR), which has been manufactured and installed by Swedish dairy equipment company DeLaval.

FutureDairy project in Australia, which is collaboration between DeLaval, Dairy Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of Sydney, has developed the new technology.

Having a capacity to milk up to 90 cows an hour, the robotic dairy is based on 24-unit internal, herringbone rotary that enables the robots to reach the cow from the side, and it features five robots.

The robots utilize laser technology which focus red light to determine the location of the teats, clean them or attach the cups. The first two robots clean and prepare the teats for milking, the second two attach the cups to the teats, and the last robot sprays the teats to disinfect them before the cows leave the platform.

The design of the dairy yard plays an important role in AMR's operation - the yards have a series of smaller yards, divided by automatic gates known as Smart Selection Gates (SSGs), which can guide the cows in two or three different paths after the milking.

The cows are made to wear automatic identification collars or transponders, and when the cows approach the SSG, the system reads the transponder and guides the cow in the proper direction for milking.

AMR is integrated with a DELPRO herd management software, which enables the users to manage the cows individually and record the milk production data.

According to the owners of the new dairy, the robotic system is expected to attract and retain labor in dairy farms. It may help farm owners focus on managing the farm system rather than milking.

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