Robots vacuum floors and assist surgeons. Soon, they will be milking the UConn dairy herd. To house the robots, a 3,000-square-foot Kellogg Dairy Center addition is underway with an expected opening in April 2018. When it is finished, the facility will be among the first voluntary milking systems installed at a university.
This state-of-the art robotic technology will benefit the cows’ health and welfare, the farm staff’s ability to care for the animals in an individual way and the students’ experiential learning, according to Steven Zinn, professor and head of the Department of Animal Science.
The idea was first suggested by Mary-Margaret Cole, animal science’s executive program director, and took about two years of “patience and persistence” to be realized, but it resulted in a “true collaboration.”
“Now, the University dairy herd will have cutting-edge technology made possible by the partnership between the Department of Animal Science, the CAHNR Dean’s Office, the Provost’s Office and the UConn Foundation,” Zinn said. The $1.8 million cost covers the whole project from the design phase to the installation of the robots. (more…)