What is a voluntary milking system?

A voluntary milking system, or milking robot, is a system in which a cow is milked completely automatically. The cow is lured with food and then submits to the robot voluntarily. When the cow enters the robot, it is recognized and the entry gate closes behind the cow. Based on the last milking and other information about the animal, the robot decides if the cow should be milked. When this is the case, the cow receives a small amount of feed to keep her calm and quiet during connecting and milking. The milking process begins with premilking. Premilking is the connection of a cup on the teats of the udder, washing and stimulating the teats. This promotes the release of oxytocin. This hormone stimulates the release of milk. With the milking cup, the drinking of a calf is simulated. This premilking cup is connected to all four teats by the robot arm. The teats are localized using a 3D vision system. When the premilking is done, the robot arm connects the four milking cups, after which the actual milking process starts. The milk is subsequently checked on several points by the milk technique in the robot. When this is considered right, the milk is pumped to the milk hall that is situated in a separate space of the stable. The milk is kept cool and will be pumped by a truck from here and driven to the milk factory. A milking robot is fitted with a cleaning system, which cleans important components of the milking system after each milking as well as the entire milking system.
This greatly reduces the chance of bacterial growth, ensuring food safety.