Robots solve cow-walking problems

robot farming organicMarkus, 53, farms in the deep west of Germany, close to the Belgian border and close to a picturesque tourist town called Monschau. The area is full of little roads and quite a number of residences along the way, making it a huge logistical problem for Markus to take the cows to the fields after milking.

His solution was to install two Lely Astronaut robotic milking machines in his fields, becoming the first farmer in Germany to use this system.

“I saw the robots in Switzerland and thought the idea of installing them in my fields would cure my problem. But there were some logistical problems to solve – including how to power the machines and how to make them portable.”

With the help of a development team Markus was able to construct two secure and portable containers in which his two Lely robots were built, along with a milk-storage tank, a wash room and a small office. The units are powered by a 700-meter electricity cable; water is piped to the units for washing the robots. Water troughs for the cows are only placed at the robotic milking machines to entice them to come and be milked.

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