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 Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

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: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>