The Borden family and its farm in upstate New York has entered the “brave new world of automated milking systems” with the introduction of the “milkbot,” a rotund and friendly-looking version of the Dalek, reports The New York Times.
The family has operated farmland in the area since 1837 and recently invested $1.2 million in the milking machines.
The milkbots have not only increased the amount of milk collected in a given day, but have also “increased overall productivity for humans and cows alike, reducing labor costs.” The bots also feed each cow when it enters the automated booth. In turn, the reward system has taught the cows to milk themselves.
Each cow can enter the milking booth whenever she’s ready as opposed to the traditional milking schedule set by the farmer. The reduction in workload for the farmers has even allowed the family to spend more quality time with the herd.
It’s a whole different herd of cows than it used to be,” says Mike Borden, petting a cow that’s come over to nibble on his arm. “They’re just very happy up here. Happy cows make a happy farmer.”
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.