Carlisle ‘Smart Farm’ Using Robots To Milk Cows

By David Wade, WBZ-TV

CARLISLE (CBS) – Mark Duffy has been farming a very long time. 45 years to be exact. He never thought he would see what he sees now when he walks into his barn at Great Brook Farm in Carlisle.

He sees a robot.

“Every milking, every day. The technology is incredible,” says Duffy.

Yes, the robot, milks his 160 dairy cows.

The cows decide on their own when they want to give milk.

They wait in line, the way we do when buying milk at the supermarket.

When it’s their turn, the cow steps into the milking machine. The robot, which is programmed for each cow, reads a number tag on the cow’s ear and uses lasers and vacuum-type hoses to find and milk the utters.

A cow milked by a robot at Great Brook farm in Carlisle. (WBZ-TV)

A cow milked by a robot at Great Brook farm in Carlisle. (WBZ-TV)

Chris Duffy, Mark’s 23 year-old farmer son, loves how high-tech farming has become.

“When the robot went online, he was in college, and he and his friends drove in the middle of the night in a snow storm to come see it. They never drove in the middle of the night to see the milking in the old barn,” says his dad.

The working farm is actually on state-owned land and is open to tours.

The state spent money on the machine, the first robot milking machine in Massachusetts, because it thinks it makes for a great tourist attraction.

What’s certain is the cows seem to love it, the farmers love it and the robot never complains.


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