Lasers that read udder coordinates, a robot that knows cows betterthan the farmer and an individual computer chip for each cow on the farm. Sounda little unworldly? That's why they've branded this machine the astronaut.
"It can identify which animal she is and at that point the computer knowswhether she can get milked or not" Paul Godin explained the technology tofarmers and prospective customers Saturday.
Godin has been peddling roboticmilking systems to ten farms around the state of Vermont. His job is to make Vermont farmersbelievers in this new type of technology.
"Vermontand New England is ideal for robots, we willnot have 10,000 cow dairies like they have out west" Godin said.
The astronaut is a hands free system that milks and feeds cowswhile tracking their health. Cows walk into a pen, are scanned by the robot andfed grain based on their size and milk production. If they've come too manytimes that day the machine kicks them out. 128 pieces of information come up onthe computer for each individual cow. If something's wrong the astronaut knows.
"The robot actually phones the farmer calls him and tells him there's anissue" Godin said.
"We were milking two times a day the robots have allowed usto milk three times a day or more" Ownan Whitcomb, the owner of Whitcombfarms said.
He calls it the ultimate in cow comfort. It also eliminates theneed for tedious work for farm hands. Whitcomb says production has spiked inthe few weeks they've had the system because they can milk the cows 24 hours aday.
"The average production of all of our cows has increasedapproximately 12-14 pounds per cow per day" Ownan said.
Each machine averages $160,000Whitcomb says with installation it ended up being closer to $200,000. He'shoping this machine will be the farms real cash cow.
Sunday, December 8 2013 2:00 PM EST2013-12-08 19:00:23 GMT
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over. The incident happened on Route 105 in Berkshire late Friday afternoon. AuthoritiesMore >>
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Sunday, December 8 2013 1:42 PM EST2013-12-08 18:42:20 GMT
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It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon, N.H. Saturday.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:30 PM EST2013-12-08 18:30:52 GMT
Police say a couple tried to use a baby to smuggle drugs into jail. Police say the baby arrived the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, with 27-year-old David Willette of Bennington, for a scheduledMore >>
Police say a couple tried to use a baby to smuggle drugs into jail.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:25 PM EST2013-12-08 18:25:45 GMT
A 28-year-old Coventry man is dead after a crash Saturday night in Irasburg. Police say at about 8:40 p.m. Gerald Begin rolled his car on Route 5 and was thrown out of the vehicle. He was taken toMore >>
A 28-year-old Coventry man is dead after a crash Saturday night in Irasburg.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:21 PM EST2013-12-08 18:21:13 GMT
Talks next week in New York will try to determine how new state land in the central Adirondacks can be used. The Adirondack Park Agency is considering recommendations for the land in the towns of IndianMore >>
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Sunday, December 8 2013 1:18 PM EST2013-12-08 18:18:31 GMT
Competition could be fierce for new casino licenses in upstate New York. The licenses will be awarded next year after voters passed an amendment allowing Vegas-style casinos outside Indian land. FourMore >>
Competition could be fierce for new casino licenses in upstate New York.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:13 PM EST2013-12-08 18:13:03 GMT
If you're lucky, you may have seen a snowy owl in Vermont. Researchers say the birds are traveling even farther south than usual -- some even as far south as North Carolina. We spotted one Friday afternoonMore >>
Researchers say snowy owls are traveling even farther south than usual, and that means more sightings here in Vermont.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:12 PM EST2013-12-08 18:12:07 GMT
The sun is completing a "solar flip," and that means many people could have the best chance in a decade of seeing the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. NASA says every 11 years the sun's polar magneticMore >>
We check in on some of the week's big science stories, including why the Northern Lights may be more visible soon.More >>