Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Robots with natural movement that milk cows

10.03.2003


Scottish company IceRobotics will develop a new generation of dairy farm robots, working in a way that is similar to an elephant’s trunk, that can milk cows without the presence of the farmer, thanks to an Invention & Innovation award of £98,000 from NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts), the organisation that invests in UK creativity and innovation.



While studying for his PhD, Dr Bruce Davies, a senior lecturer at Heriot-Watt University, came up with the idea for a new breed of robots capable of ’biomimetic locomotion’: machines that move using the same patterns that are found in nature. To respond to opportunities to exploit his invention in dairy automation, Bruce set up Edinburgh-based IceRobotics with Robert Boyce who is trained in business administration and has direct experience in technology enterprise development and Dr Andrew Peacock, who has a background in artificial intelligence and sensor system technologies.

New research is showing that better milk yields can be obtained from cows if they can be milked more regularly at times of their own choosing, with one of the best times being between 11pm and 3am just before the cow settles down to sleep. This is consistent with the milking patterns of a calf but impractical in terms of traditional dairy farming based on herding cows to be milked twice a day. The alternative is the proposed Biomimetic robotic milking system technology of IceRobotics, operating 24 hours a day. Technology of this kind could result in a 10% to 20% increase in milk yield in over 200,000 medium sized diary farms across the Europe and offer improved hygiene and health for the herd. The technology also has the potential to be applied to milking goats and sheep.


IceRobotics will develop new generation biomimetic robot technology by mimicking the mechanical and sensory systems found in biology. This will provide greater dexterity and improved safety and hygiene compared to current robot technology. Their design incorporates three bellows that are placed in parallel in a triangular arrangement that produces movement by changing position as the pressure inside it is changed, working in a way that is similar to an elephant’s trunk. By using different pressures in each bellow a range of bending movements can be produced that are precise and can be applied to handle delicate objects.

Through mimicking the motion and dexterity found in nature, this biomimetic technology offers the potential to greatly extend the current boundaries of the robotics sector not only in dairy farming but also in many other sectors. NESTA is proud to be able to be supporting a cutting edge project that could radically alter how and in what environments robots are used.

Widening its search for investment, IceRobotics has been selected by Connect Scotland to present at its Springboard conference in Glasgow on 11 March 2003. Springboard is recognised as Scotland’s leading investment showcase for pre-start and start-up technology companies and attracts a large number of investors, business angels and venture capitalists. NESTA is also lending its support as a new sponsor of Springboard.

Jeremy Newton, NESTA Chief Executive, said:

"This award to IceRobotics is living proof that NESTA is uncovering innovative ideas from all corners of the UK and offering them the chance to thrive. The idea could be an excellent investment for NESTA and the UK as a whole."

Joseph Meaney | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nesta.org.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Filling intercropping info gap
16.11.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>