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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Robot could help farmers and cows
Automatic milker
The robotic milker washes the udders before milking
Cows at a farm in Cornwall are being milked by a robot thanks to an investment from an Objective One agricultural fund.

Organic dairy farmer Terence Middleton, who farms near Lostwithiel, received almost 43,000 to trial the intelligent milker named Astronaut.

The robot washes itself, detects which cows have been milked recently and enables them to be milked separately.

The trial will be used as a case study for other small farms.

Mr Middleton said the project should free him up to concentrate on other sides of his business, saving him time and money.

The robotic milker identifies each cow in the herd with an electronic collar.

His wife Rosemary also believes the intelligent machine should actually be more humane for the cows.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See how the robot milks the cows



SEE ALSO:
Farmers deny 'battery cow' claim
29 Jul 05 |  Cornwall
Cream maker to double production
07 Jul 05 |  Cornwall


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