DE202017007021U1 - Means for a vaulted free range - Google Patents

Means for a vaulted free range

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Publication number
DE202017007021U1
DE202017007021U1 DE202017007021.9U DE202017007021U DE202017007021U1 DE 202017007021 U1 DE202017007021 U1 DE 202017007021U1 DE 202017007021 U DE202017007021 U DE 202017007021U DE 202017007021 U1 DE202017007021 U1 DE 202017007021U1
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milking
mmu
configured
animal
fdr
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DE202017007021.9U
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Dairyionics Ltd
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Dairyionics Ltd
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01KANIMAL HUSBANDRY; CARE OF BIRDS, FISHES, INSECTS; FISHING; REARING OR BREEDING ANIMALS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; NEW BREEDS OF ANIMALS
    • A01K29/00Other apparatus for animal husbandry
    • A01K29/005Monitoring or measuring activity, e.g. detecting heat or mating
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01JMANUFACTURE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS
    • A01J5/00Milking machines or devices
    • A01J5/017Automatic attaching or detaching of clusters
    • A01J5/0175Attaching of clusters
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01KANIMAL HUSBANDRY; CARE OF BIRDS, FISHES, INSECTS; FISHING; REARING OR BREEDING ANIMALS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; NEW BREEDS OF ANIMALS
    • A01K1/00Housing animals; Equipment therefor
    • A01K1/12Milking stations

Abstract

A Vaulted Free Range (FRD) where dairy animals have free access to their stall to be fed and milked at the same time, comprising:
a. a plurality of s stalls, where s is an integer equal to or greater than one; at least one of said stalls is characterized by a front side and an opposite rear side in which a dairy animal is accommodated, at least temporarily, with the head opposite to the front side;
b. a plurality of m major lives (MLA), m is an integer equal to or greater than one; at least one of said MLAs is in connection with at least one of said stalls by means of a plurality of g gates, g is an integer equal to or greater than one; wherein said FDR further comprises
c. a substantially horizontally positioned elevated rail system comprising a plurality of e raised rails, e is an integer equal to or greater than one;
d. a plurality of n mobile milking units (MMUs), n is an integer equal to or greater than one, each of said MMUs configured to transport on said elevated rail to a dairy animal in its stall and to milk the animal, while it eats.

Description

  • Field of the invention
  • The present invention relates generally to the milking of farm animals in a vaulted free range. The present invention further relates to means for cattle stall systems and cattle tethering systems, as well as subsystems and modules thereof.
  • Background of the invention
  • There are two main methods of housing livestock, the tethering stall (or handrail stall) and the open keeping system. In the tethering stable, each animal is tied up in a stable for resting, feeding, milking and watering. A typical plan has two rows of stables. In older buildings, hay and straw are stored in overhead storage, while modern layouts usually use adjacent buildings. The open husbandry system is a dairy cattle management system in which animals are kept free in a stable for lazing and usually with access to an open yard, and they can move from there (or alternatively from there) to separate areas or buildings be brought to milking or feeding or go.
  • The keeping of dairy cows in the tethering stall is still widely used worldwide, despite concern for well-being in terms of limiting spontaneous movement and limiting the expression of cows' natural behavior. Popescu et al disclose that in Europe between 20% (in the lowlands) and 80% (in the highlands) of the cows are tethered at least during the winter. Therefore, the welfare quality of the examined dairy cows was significantly better in farms with tie-rod allowing movement for the cows (paddling, grazing or both) compared to those who do not; see Posescu et al. "Dairy cows' Welfare quality in tie-stall housing system with or without access to exercise", Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 55.1 (2013): 43, which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • Arney et al. notes that the increase in the size (weight) of the animals in recent years through intensive breeding with the aim of higher milk production has meant that housing and equipment are less and less suitable for housed livestock. This includes: length and width of the pit area, resulting in a box in the box instead of in the corridor and an inability to lay down or be comfortable; a separation design that impedes comfortable lying; inappropriate passage in the corridors; and limited access to food and water. Each of them can affect not only the welfare of the cows, but also their feed intake, production levels, health and fertility. The ability to be comfortable in a clean area should not be forgotten; Cows show a strong drive to lie down: Dairy cattle lie -7-10 h during the day and night period; individual lying periods are on average 1.5 hours long. If a comfortable and easily accessible reclining area is not available, the cows may spend more time lying or standing in dirty corridors, which is likely to cause health problems, especially mastitis and leg injuries. Lameness is becoming an increasingly important factor affecting the health and well-being of the dairy cow. Normally, the flooring is concrete, which becomes slippery over time and especially when covered with liquid manure. The cows have to change their course on low friction floor coverings and this can lead to injuries and reluctance to walk, which makes them less inclined to visit the feeding area, although they are motivated to do so, possibly leading to a reduction of the feeding area Feed intake and production leads; please refer David Arney and Andreas Aland "Contemporary Issues in Farm Animal Housing and Management Cattle Housing and Welfare", pp. 324-329 in Jakobson, Christine, Sustainable Agriculture No. 1, Baltic University Press, 2014 , currently available on the website http://www.baticuniv.uu.se/index.php/component/docman/doc_download/1282-chapter-44-contemporary-issues-in-farm-animal-housing-and-management- cattle-housing-and-welfare.
  • Concerning Cows Compression: Compression, blocking and waiting of cows is a common phenomenon in various first generation milking robots. As shown, one cow (white arrow) blocks the exit to the milking robot and two other cows are stuck in the exit lane; see the photo from the state of the art in 1 , which has been taken over by Janice Siegford and Jacquelyn Jacobs, "Effect of Exit Alley Blocking Incidences on the Accessibility of the Automatic Milking System," January 2011, Michigan Dairy Review, pp. 18-20 ; currently available in https://www.msu.edu,/-mdr,v0116noi/exit_alley.html, further incorporated herein by reference.
  • Thirty-six years ago, it was recognized that it would be the best and most natural routine for dairy cows to automatically milk them by udder quarter as often as individually required during some of their voluntary visits to the feeding table. This was actually the initial goal Automatic milking has been set, but has never been fully achieved. Because of technical and economic constraints, it became necessary to implement various compromise concepts. The cows therefore still spend a lot of time waiting in stressful snakes and are not always milked when needed, resulting in suboptimal health, well-being, longevity, milk quality and farm profits; see the photo from the state of the art in 2 , which shows a crowded waiting for the milking parlor. It should be noted that free-range milking is primarily done in milking parlors and milking robots (first generation). Very small farms or technically simple farms may still have a milker coming to the animal to milk it, either with a mobile milking machine or completely by hand.
  • Kerstin Svennersten-Sjaunia et al., By De Laval, in "Efficient Milking", (2001) , currently available at http://www.delaval.com/Global/PDF/Efficient-milking.pdf, which is incorporated herein by reference, states inter alia that there is a great variation in the milking intervals between the milk producing countries , In most countries, a 8-16 hour milking interval is common practice due to the work situation. On larger farms, a 12-12 hour milking interval is often practiced. The twelve-hour interval is the most optimal milking interval with twice daily milking. Milk production (kg milk) increases at equal intervals compared to unequal milking intervals. What is the mechanism behind this phenomenon? Milk secretion begins to decrease 10 hours after the previous milking, while udder pressure increases. At 35 hours after the previous milking, the milk secretion process has stopped. At the same time, udder pressure alone is obviously not the only factor that regulates milk secretion rate, but also the inhibitor mechanism discussed. Consequently, the length of milking intervals must be considered to optimize milk production. The increase in intramammary pressure and the decrease in milk secretion rate with the extension of milking intervals. However, in some countries, where the work was fairly cheap, more milking was practiced. During the last decade, the focus has again turned to more frequent milking, especially in high yield herds. The benefits of more frequent milking are many. Changing milking from twice a day to three times daily significantly increases milk production. Published data shows increases in the range of 5 to 25% more milk per day. In addition, the milk production is more sustained and extended. The reason milk production increases with more frequent milking may be more frequent exposure of hormones that stimulate milk secretion in the mammary gland. However, as mentioned above, the milk contains an inhibitor with a negative feedback control on the milk secretion. More frequent removal of this inhibitor therefore leads to higher production. An interesting finding in this regard is that cows with a small udder are more sensitive to the frequency of milking. The smaller the cisterna, the greater the effect of frequent milk removal on milk production, while the larger the cisterna, the smaller the response to frequent milking. Frequent milking has both long-term and short-term effects. The short term effect is increased milk production due to increased activity in the milk secreting cells, while the long term effect is increased production due to increased number of milk secreting cells. The latter indicates that it is possible to influence the number of milk secreting cells during established milk production, which is important for milk production capacity; see also Erdman, Richard A. and Mark Varner, "Fixed yield responses to increased milking frequency", Journal of dairy science 78.5, (1995), 1199-1203; Hogeveen, H., et al., "Milking Interval, Milk Production and Milk Flow Rate in an Automatic Milking System", Livestock Production Science 72.1, (2001): 157-167 ; and Jacobs, JA, and JM Siegford, "Invited review: The impact of automatic milking systems on dairy cow management, behavior, health, and welfare," Journal of dairy science 95.5, (2012): 2227-2247 , which are all incorporated herein by reference.
  • With regard to "milking group", as in the U.S. Patent No. 8,925,482 Lely Patent NV, a group of dairy animals, such as a group of cows, may generally comprise different subgroups of dairy animals giving different types of milk.
  • These different types of milk may include, for example, milk for consumption, bovine milk, milk from cows suffering from mastitis, or milk from cows treated with antibiotics. It is not desirable to collect these different types of milk in one and the same milk container. Mixing milk for consumption with other types of milk can make the milk no longer fit for consumption for consumption. Milk that should not be mixed with milk for consumption is referred to below as separation milk. After milking a cow that gives separation milk, it is desirable and often mandatory to rinse the milking system before milking a cow that gives milk for consumption. The rinsing of the milking system takes a relatively long time. In addition, the rinsing of the milking system requires large amounts of rinsing fluid, such as clean water. For groups of Therefore, milking, which involves relatively many milking animals giving separation milk, requires relatively frequent cleaning of the milking system. During rinsing, the milking system can not be used, as a result of which the milking system is used less efficiently. An example of a group of milking which includes a relatively large number of milking animals giving separation milk is a group of milking animals whose milking cycles are highly synchronous. In such a group, a relatively large number of milking animals can simultaneously give birth milk, which is unsuitable for consumption and should not be mixed with the milk for consumption. Another example is a group of milking with a relatively large number of sick cows being treated with antibiotics. The cumbersome handling problem of milking a specific cow with her ever-changing needs and milking skills, whereby the cow is a member of a milking group, is still a problematic unfulfilled need, especially in large dairy farms.
  • US 4,508,058 Alfa-Laval AB's "Milking method and an apparatus therefor", which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a method of milking free-range cows that find their way individually to one or more feeding stalls where they are using a computer which is associated with the identification and feeding means, automatically identified and fed. A computer is used to record the times at which each cow is milked and to activate a device in connection with the identification of a cow arriving at the feeding stall to eat, and provided that a predetermined time has elapsed the preceding milking operation, the device being activated for automatic application of the milking means to the cow's udder and for starting a milking operation.
  • EP 0 635 203 - "A construction for automatically milking animals" and EP 1 336 337 - "An assembly for feeding and milking animals, and a method of feeding and milking animals" by Texas Industries Inc. (Lely) discloses a construction for automatically milking cows provided with a milking robot. The construction reveals a dandruff ( 1 ) or any other area where the animals are allowed to move freely. The shed ( 1 ) or the other area is designed so that the milking robot ( 14 ) is moved to an animal to be milked and makes the milking on site.
  • US 7,640,889 and US 7,836,848 by Lely, entitled "Assembly for feeding and milking animals, and a method of feeding and milking animals" discloses an arrangement for feeding and milking animals and methods thereof. The arrangement is provided with an area where the animals are allowed to move freely; a number of juxtaposed feeding stations for the animals; a restraint device fixedly disposed at a feeding station for restraining an animal at that feeding station, the restraint device being activatable to restrain that animal and deactivated to release that animal; a self-propelled mobile milking robot comprising a milking device for milking an animal including at least one teat cup for connection to a teat of an animal; and a computer system for controlling the operation and movement of the milking robot. Here, the claimed novelty and inventive step is that the assembly is capable of determining the feeding station where an animal to be milked is and the relevant restraining device for restraining the animal at the particular feeding station and the restraining device of at least one adjacent one Feeding station adjacent to the particular feeding station. A key and fundamental feature of the disclosed feeding and milking arrangement is therefore the further limitation of the restraint device of at least one adjacent feeding station adjacent to the particular feeding station. The cows are to be maneuvered or otherwise manipulated.
  • A cow free range (FDR), which better supports the cow's health and well-being, enables optimal production of higher quality milk, especially in a milking group as defined above, improves the operating margins, does the farm work easier and more satisfying and reduces land use and therefore is still a long-felt need.
  • Summary of the invention
  • Various objects of the invention are thereby provided in a non-limiting manner: An object of the invention is to disclose a vaulted free range or freedom keeping (FRD) for milking cows where cows are milked when freely fed in a synchronized manner. The milking units approach the dairy animal at the time of its feed intake, unlike other large milking systems where the animals are directed to the milking unit at predetermined times.
  • Another object of the invention is to disclose a FDR for milking cows, where, according to one embodiment of the invention, the FDR comprises modules selected from a group consisting of a main living area (MLA) having at least one exit port from where Dairy animals are free to enter an area of the barn, and at least one entrance gate where animals can either enter freely or controllably from the area of the barn either the main living area or alternatively a treatment area. The MLA is connected to at least one feeding area, for example by means of one or more unidirectional gates. The feeding area consists of a plurality of stalls, which are separated from each other, for example by rails and optionally lockable from behind, moving feeding unit (MFU). One or more mobile milking units (MMU) are provided on an elevated rail system for milking predetermined cows when the cow is fed. Mobile Preparation and Cup Placement Units (NIPCPUs), which are either mobile autonomous units that are temporarily or permanently attached to the MMUs and continue to be provided. One or more milk-emptying and MMU-recycling units (MEMRs) are usable; as well as one or more milk containers and milk lines. The treatment area is a chute where further treatment is provided. A full farm may include one or more identical or different FDRs that are optionally interconnected and have resources in common, such as MMUs or MEMRs.
  • Another object of the invention is to disclose a method of handling dairy animals, especially cows, comprising steps of providing an FDR as defined and described in the present invention; feeding fed cows continuously and continuously in an unmanipulated manner without snakes and blockages from the MLA to the feeding area, where they are conveniently milked if and when required while they are eating, and optionally then, via the treatment area back to the MLA, and and so on.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a FRD where dairy animals have free access to their stall to eat and milk at the same time, comprising a plurality of stables, where s is an integer equal to or greater than one is; at least one of the stalls is characterized by a front side and an opposite rear side in which a milk animal is accommodated, at least temporarily, with the head opposite the front side; and a plurality of m MLAs, m is an integer equal to or greater than one; at least one of the MLAs is in communication with at least one of the stalls by means of a plurality of g gates, g is an integer equal to or greater than one. The FDR further comprises a substantially horizontally positioned elevated rail system comprising a plurality of e raised rails, e is an integer equal to or greater than one; and a plurality of n mobile milking units (MMUs), n is an integer equal to or greater than one, each of the MMUs being configured to transport on the elevated rail to a dairy animal in its stall and milking the animal during it eats.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FRD as defined in any of the above, wherein the dairy animals are selected from a group consisting of cows, sheep, buffaloes and goats.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a dairy farm, wherein at least a portion of the farm comprises a substantially horizontally positioned elevated rail system comprising a plurality of elevated rails on which milking units are transported.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a dairy farm, wherein at least part of the farm comprises at least one house, a transformation infrastructure approaching the rear part of the house on which the milking units are movable.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a dairy farm wherein at least a portion of the farm comprises at least one unidirectional entrance gate separating a stable area from a main living area, at least one unidirectional exit gate separating the stall area from a treatment area, and at least one unidirectional entrance gate that separates the treatment area from the main living one main living area.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as in any of the above, wherein at least one of the raised rails is selected from a group consisting of an at least partially linear rail, an at least partially curved rail, at least partially inclined rails at least partially vertical rail and any combination thereof.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as in any of the above, wherein at least a portion of the plurality of elevated rails are interconnected at at least one juncture.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as in any of the above, wherein the at least a portion of a plurality of interconnected raised rails is disposed in one or more street-and-aisle configurations.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an array of FDRs comprising at least a first FDR as defined in any of the above and at least one second FDR, wherein the first and second FDRs are interconnected by means of at least one mutually elevated rail system MMUs from one FDR to the second FDR and vice versa transportable.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the array of FDRs as defined in any of the above, wherein the array comprises a plurality of f FDRs, f is an integer equal to or greater than two; wherein the FDRs are arranged in a form selected from a group consisting of triangular, quadrangular, polygonal, circular, star-shaped shapes and any combination thereof.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, wherein the stall is characterized by a substantially rectangular shape including a back surface, the back side being opposite to a front side; and wherein the milk animal is directed through the back with its head towards the front.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, wherein the above MMU comprises at least one of a taxi, messenger, extension group; the taxi is configured to drive the MMU horizontally along the ER; the messenger is configured for both (i) downloading the MMU substantially vertically from the elevated track to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stable, and (ii) substantially vertically uploading the MMU to the taxiing unit; and wherein the extension is configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein the MMU comprises at least one member selected from the group consisting of taxi, messenger, extension; the taxi is configured to drive the MMU horizontally along the ER; the messenger is configured for both (i) downloading the MMU substantially vertically from the elevated track to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stable, and (ii) substantially vertically uploading the MMU to the taxiing unit; and wherein the extension is configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, comprising a docking station located at the rear of the stall, the docking station being configured to receive either a messenger and / or reversibly connect an extreme mechanism of the MMU.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein the MMU at least temporarily interconnects, either wirelessly or cabled, a computer assisted milking protocol and an MMU motion control (CAP & C) to control the transport of the MMU ,
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein it is connected to or in communication with a teat cup assembly (TCA), the TCA having a plurality of teat cups, each of which Teat cups, by size and shape, are configured to reversibly accommodate a teat and allow vacuum assisted milking of the teat.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein the proximal portions of the teat cups are mounted substantially on: (a) MMUs teats time-resolved spatial orientation and location; and (b) teats time-resolved spatial Orientation and location.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein the TCA comprises a motor-transmission-containing teatcup ejection directing mechanism (TCESM) configured to facilitate the approach of the To allow teat cups to the teats before milking and retracting the same after milking.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a TCA wherein for the milking operation; comprising: at least one teat cup which is horizontally movable in a reciprocating manner, the at least one teat cup further comprising a concave conical member (10); 363 configured to receive a teat of an animal, a dual milk vacuum line ( 364 ) and a connector ( 362 ) interconnecting the concave conical element and the dual milk vacuum line therebetween; and an ejection mechanism ( 365 ) for approaching the at least one milking cup to the teat of the animal; wherein the ejection mechanism comprises a rack and pinion mechanism ( 366 ) and a motor that includes a Pinion of rack and pinion mechanism ( 361 ), wherein the at least one teat cup is mechanically connected to a rack of the rack and pinion mechanism.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein the TCA is connected to a manipulating milking arm (AM), the milking arm being configured to move the TCA from the rearward position of the animal via its moving backward legs and under his body to a location adjacent to and under the animal's teats and vice versa.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the MMU as defined in any of the above, comprising, connected to or communicating with a plurality of cm cameras, cm is an integer greater than or equal to one, which are cameras selected for a group consisting of (i) at least one camera connected to a teatcup assembly or teatcup base thereof, configured to focus on both of the teatcups and teats and thereby adjust the 2D or 3D spatial orientation of teatcups in the teatcup Determine the environment of the adjacent teats; (ii) at least one camera configured to focus on the rear legs of the dairy animals to thereby determine one or both of the 2D or 3D spatial orientation of the legs and an assessment of the animal health status.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein at least one camera is selected from a group consisting of a digital or video image receiving module, an image sensing sensor, a thermally obtaining sensor, a CCD , a CMOS, a wide-angle optical sensor, zoom-enabled optical sensors, a thermal sensor, an optical sensor including a monochromatic sensor or a combination of two or more monochromatic sensors, a magnetic detector, a fluorescence detector, a laser detector, a thermal and- optical integrated sensor, time of flight (TOF), TOF sensor, structured light camera, structured light sensor, and any combination thereof.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein at least one of the cameras is configured for wired or wireless communication with a computer readable medium, configured to process images and thereby actuate the milking arm actuation from the back of the animal via its rear legs and under its body to a location adjacent and under the animal's teats and vice versa.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the MMU as defined in any of the above, further comprising a computer readable magnetic medium configured to use the image to determine the 2D or 3D time resolved orientation of the animal's back legs to calculate what defines the center at the height of the legs (essentially along the Z major axis) and the distance of the legs (substantially along the Y major axis).
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, further comprising a computer-readable magnetic medium configured by the image to define and alert the oestrus condition in animals.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, comprising a plurality of cm cameras, cm is an integer greater than or equal to one, the cameras are selected for a group consisting of ( i) at least one camera connected to a teatcup assembly or a teatcup base thereof, configured to focus on both of the teatcups and teats and thereby determine the 2D or 3D spatial orientation of teatcups in the vicinity of the teats; (ii) at least one camera configured to focus on the rear legs of the dairy animals to thereby determine one or both of the 2D or 3D spatial orientation of the legs and an assessment of the animal health status.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, comprising at least one camera selected from a group consisting of a digital or video receiving module, a frame-receiving sensor, a thermally-acquired sensor CCD, a CMOS, a wide-angle optical sensor, zoom-enabled optical sensors, a thermal sensor, an optical sensor including a monochromatic sensor or a combination of two or more monochromatic sensors, a magnetic detector, a fluorescence detector, a laser detector, a thermal and optical-integrated sensor, a time of flight (TOF), a TOF sensor, a structured light camera, a structured light sensor and any combination thereof.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, wherein at least one of the cameras is configured for wired or wireless communication with a computer readable medium configured to process images and thereby actuate the milking operation from the back of the animal via its rear legs and under its body to a location adjacent and under the animal's teats and vice versa.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, further comprising a computer-readable magnetic medium configured to use the image to determine the 2D or 3D time-resolved orientation of the animal's back legs to calculate what defines the center at the height of the legs (essentially along the Z major axis) and the distance of the legs (substantially along the Y major axis).
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, further comprising a computer readable magnetic medium configured by the image to define and alert the oestrus condition in animals.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above using and / or comprising a computer-implemented system for algorithm portfolios in hierarchical machine learning, comprising a group of levels of nonlinear processing units consisting of a data input from backward Legs with either or both 2D and 3D orientations; a data entry of either or both 2D and 3D orientations of each of the teats; a data output of image processing capabilities that configures the movement of the milking arm via the rear legs of the cow; the system being operable by locating the teat cups under the teats prior to milking and then retrieving the teat cups and retrieving the arm after milking is completed. The hierarchical learning may include "hind leg and teat image processing capabilities" of the deep structured learning milking, which provides means for monitoring the health status of the milking animals.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method for determining estrus status in dairy animals. The method includes steps of providing p detectors, p is an integer greater than or equal to 1, the p detectors being selected from uniaxial accelerometers, multi-axis accelerometers, cameras, and any combination thereof; for each period (Δt i ) that the milking animal is within an FDR stall, by means of at least one of the p detectors, continuously or temporarily determining the head acceleration of said animal (a x, y, z (t)) and thereby for each of the time periods (Δt i ) defining an animal feeding event energy value (E eating (Δt i )); Generating for the animal and for each first predetermined period n a total eating energy value E eating, total (n) by summing up all the eating event energy values produced during the first predetermined time period n, e eating . total ( n ) = Σ i = i b e G i n i e n d e e a t i n G ( Δ t i ) ;
    Figure DE202017007021U1_0001
    Averaging over a second predetermined time period comprising N of the first predetermined periods, where N is an integer greater than 1, all of the total eating energy values E eating , total (n) and thereby generating a baseline eating energy E eating ; Determining for at least one of the second predetermined time periods a maximum daily food energy value E eating, max = max (E eating, total (n)); and generating an estrus arm when the eating energy event value E eating, total (n) is greater than (E easting, max + E eating ) / 2.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method for determining estrus status in dairy animals. The method includes steps of providing p detectors, p is an integer greater than or equal to 1, the p detectors being selected from uniaxial accelerometers, multi-axis accelerometers, cameras, and any combination thereof; Determining, by at least one of the p detectors, each time period (Δt i ) that the dairy animal is not within an FDR stall; for each period (Δt i ) that the milk animal is not within an FDR stall, by means of at least one of the p detectors, continuously or temporarily determining the head acceleration of the animal (a x, y, z (t)) and thereby for each of the time periods (Δt i ) defining an animal head movement energy value (E move (Δt i )); Generating for the animal and for each first predetermined time period n, a total head motion energy value E move, total (n) by summing up all of the head motion energy values produced during the first predetermined time period n, e m O v e . t O t a l ( n ) = Σ i = i b e G i n i e n d e m O v e . t O t a l ( Δ t i ) ;
    Figure DE202017007021U1_0002
    Averaging over a second predetermined time period comprising N of the first predetermined time periods, where N is an integer greater than 1, all of the total head motion energy values E move, total (n), and thereby generating a baseline head motion energy E move ; Determining for at least one of the second predetermined time periods a maximum daily head movement energy value E move, max = max (E move, total (n)); and producing an estrus arm when the Head movement energy value E move, total (n) greater than (E move, max + E move ) / 2.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method for determining estrus status in dairy animals. The method comprises steps of providing p detectors, p is an integer greater than or equal to 1, the p detectors are selected from uniaxial accelerometers, multi-axis accelerometers, cameras, and any combination thereof; determining by means of at least one of the p detectors each time period (Δt in ) the milk animal is not within an FDR stable; for each first predetermined time period n, by means of at least one of the p detectors, continuously or temporarily determining the head acceleration of the animal (a x, y, z (t)) and thereby for each of the first time periods n defining a total animal head movement energy value (E move, total (n) ); for each period (Δt in ) that the dairy animal is within an FDR stall, by means of at least one of the p detectors, continuously or temporarily determining the head acceleration of the animal (a x, y, z (t)) and thereby for each of the periods ( Δt in ) defining an animal feeding event energy value (E eat (Δt in )); Generating for the animal and for each first predetermined time period n, a total eating event energy value E eat, total (n) by summing up all the eating event energy values incurred during the first predetermined time period n, e eat . total ( n ) = Σ i = i b e G i n i e n d e e a t . t O t a l ( Δ t i ) ;
    Figure DE202017007021U1_0003
    for each first predetermined time period n, determining a total no-eating-head movement energy E noneat (n) as the difference between the total animal head movement energy value E move, total (n), and the total eating event energy value E eat, total (Δt in ), enoneate (n) = E move, total (n ) - E eat, total (s); Averaging over a second predetermined time period comprising N of the first predetermined time periods, where N is an integer greater than 1, all of the non-eating motion energy values E move, total (n) and thereby generating a baseline head motion energy E move ; Determining for at least one of the second predetermined time periods a maximum daily head movement energy value E move, max = max (E noneat (n)); and generating an estrous alar arm when said head movement energy value enoneate (n) is greater than (E move, max + E move ) / 2.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose one or more of the above methods, wherein the first predetermined time period is about one day and the second predetermined time period is about one month.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method of providing dairy animals in a vaulted free range (FRD) and thereby their provision with free access to their stall for simultaneous feeding and milking. This method comprises steps of providing a plurality of s stalls, where s is an integer equal to or greater than one; and further providing at least one of the stalls having a front side and an opposite rear side in which a milk animal is accommodated at least temporarily with the head opposite the front side; and providing a plurality of m major lives (MLA), m is an integer equal to or greater than one; connecting at least one of the MLAs to at least one of the stalls by means of a plurality of g gates; g is an integer equal to or greater than one. The method further includes steps of positioning a raised rail system substantially horizontally and providing it with a plurality of e raised rails, e is an integer equal to or greater than one; and providing a plurality of n mobile milking units (MMUs), n is an integer equal to or greater than one, and configuring each of the MMUs to transport on the elevated track to a dairy animal in its stall and milk the animal while it eats.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method of transporting a mobile milking unit to a milking stall. The method includes steps of securing a plurality of e rails such that they are substantially horizontal in a raised configuration over a floor of a stall, e is an integer equal to or greater than one, and in a manner that at least a portion of the rail adjacent to and over the rear part of the house where the rear part of the animal is located; and connecting an MMU to the rail such that the MMU is movable along the raised rail to the rear of the stall and vice versa.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the above method, wherein the step of connecting an MMU to the rail comprises the step of connecting a taxi portion of an MMU to a raised rail.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method of forming an array of FDRs comprising steps of connecting at least a first FDR to at least a second FDR; interconnecting the two FDRs by at least one mutually elevated rail system and thereby allowing MMUs to transport from at least one FDR to at least one second FDR.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide a method of introducing an MMU To reveal milk teatcups. The method includes steps of, by means of a taxiing mechanism, transporting an MMU substantially horizontally along a raised rail; by means of a messenger mechanism, vertically lowering the MMU from the elevated rail to a lower docking station provided in or in communication with the rearward portion of a stall; and then by means of an extension mechanism, substantially horizontal advancement of a teat cup assembly (TCA) from the docking station between rear legs of the animal and under its rear body portion to a location provided adjacent to and below the teats of the animal.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method of controlling and prioritizing the transport of a MMU to a dairy animal in its stall, comprising a step of communicating the MMU, at least temporarily, either wireless or wired, with a computer-readable magnetic medium having one milking protocol and a MMU motion control protocol (CAP & C).
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method of approaching teat cups to teats prior to milking and retracting same after milking, the method comprising a step of providing a TCA with a teat cup containing a motor-gear-containing teat cup. An ejection straightening mechanism (TCESM) configured to allow (i) the teatcups to close to the teats before milking and then (ii) to retract them after milking.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method of determining 3D spatial orientation of teat cups to a teat to be milked, the method comprising steps of connecting a TCA to an MMU; Providing a TCA with a plurality of CM cameras; cm is an integer greater than or equal to one; and focusing at least one of the cameras toward the teat and the cups.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method of actuating the milking arm, comprising the steps of obtaining at least one of either a 2D or 3D image of one or two rear legs of an animal by means of at least one optical or thermal sensor; either wired or wirelessly communicating the image with a computer-readable medium (CRM) and processing the image and thereby providing the time-resolved orientation of the leg or legs; by means of CRM defining the center of the height of the legs (Z main axis) and the distance of the legs (Y main axis); by means of the CRM processed image data, manipulating the milking arm to move between rear legs of the animal from the rearward position of the animal below its body to a location adjacent and below the teats of the animal, and conversely, retrieving the arm to the rear.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method for assessing a health condition of an animal, comprising a step of providing in a rear portion of a stall of a FDRs of a thermal and / or optical sensor; Obtaining an image of a rear part of an animal; by using a low-level algorithm, processing the image and comparing it with reference data and thereby assessing the health of the animal.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to free a method of allowing a dairy animal to eat and to milking the animal during feeding, comprising steps of providing a dairy operation with at least one stall, providing a transformation infrastructure located at the rear Part of the stable approaching and moving mobile milking units along the transformation infrastructure.
  • Yet another object of the present invention is to free a method of allowing a dairy animal to eat and milking the animal during feeding, comprising steps of separating a stall area from a main habitat by means of at least one unidirectional entrance gate; Separating the stable area from a treatment area; and separating the treatment area from the main life into a main life area by means of at least one unidirectional entrance gate.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as defined in any of the above, wherein at least a portion of the plurality of elevated rails are interconnected at at least one juncture.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as in any of the above, wherein the at least a portion of a plurality of interconnected raised rails is disposed in one or more street-and-aisle configurations.
  • As used herein, the term "about" refers to any number that is equal, greater, or less than 25% of the defined measure. Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as in any of the above. wherein at least one stall is characterized by a rectangular shape having a length of about 247 cm and a width of about 90 cm.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as in any of the above, wherein at least one stall is characterized by a substantially rectangular shape, wherein the ratio of length and width dimensions is about 1: 2.7.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as in any of the above, wherein the stall is characterized by a substantially rectangular shape comprising a back surface, the back side facing towards a front side, and wherein the dairy animal passes through the Rear is directed with his head towards the front.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as in any of the above, wherein the input side of claim 9 is characterized by a width of about 76.5 cm.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose the FDR as in any of the above, wherein the stall has a substantially horizontal floor and wherein at least one of the following applies: the stall comprises a main drain characterized by a length of about 100 cm and a width of about 18 cm; the stall comprises a stall drain provided substantially perpendicular to the main drain, characterized by a width of about 35 cm, a depth of about 12 cm, a length in a range of about 90 cm to about 120 cm; the stable comprises one or more side entrances having a width of about 70; the stable comprises one or more high pressure water sprinklers, wherein at least one of the sprinklers is configured to wash the floor of the house or the drain of the house; 1 stall includes a main drain inclined at approximately 1.5 degrees to the ground; and the stable includes a step of about 18 cm.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a barn having a substantially horizontal floor and wherein at least one of the following applies: the barn comprises a main drain characterized by a length of about 100 cm and a width of about 18 cm; the stall comprises a stall drain provided substantially perpendicular to the main drain, characterized by a width of about 35 cm, a depth of about 12 cm, a length in a range of about 90 cm to about 120 cm; the stable comprises one or more side entrances having a width of about 70; the stable comprises one or more high pressure water sprinklers, wherein at least one of the sprinklers is configured to wash the floor of the house or the drain of the house; 1 stall includes a main drain inclined at approximately 1.5 degrees to the ground; and the stable includes a step of about 18 cm.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a first method for determining estrus status in dairy animals. The method comprises steps of providing p detectors, p is an integer greater than or equal to 1, with the p detectors selected from uniaxial accelerometers, multi-axis accelerometers, cameras, and any combination thereof; for each period (Δt i ) that the milking animal is within an FDR stall, by means of at least one of the p detectors, continuously or temporarily determining the head acceleration of said animal (a x, y, z (t)) and thereby for each of the time periods (Δt i ) defining an animal feeding event energy value (E eating (Δt i )); Generating for the animal and for each first predetermined period n a total eating energy value E eating , total (n) by summing up all the eating event energy values produced during the first predetermined time period n, e eating . total ( n ) = Σ i = i b e G i n i e n d e e a t i n G ( Δ t i ) ;
    Figure DE202017007021U1_0004
    Averaging over a second predetermined time period comprising N of the first predetermined periods, where N is an integer greater than 1, all of the total eating energy values E eating , total (n) and thereby generating a baseline eating energy E eating ; Determining for at least one of the second predetermined time periods a maximum daily food energy value E eating, max = max (E eating, total (n)); and generating an estrus arm when the eating energy event value E eating, total (n) is greater than (E easting, max + E eating ) / 2. For example, the first predetermined period is about one day. Shorter or longer periods are also provided usefully. In addition, energy values may be measured during only a period of time or as a sum of all values measured during a plurality of periods while the milk animal is within an FDR stall. For example, the second predetermined period is about one month. Shorter or longer periods are also provided usefully. The term "means" hereinafter refers to any suitable mathematical or statistical formula known in the art to provide a useful baseline.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a second method of determining estrus status in dairy animals, comprising steps of providing p detectors, p is an integer greater than or equal to 1, the p detectors being selected from single axis, multiaxial accelerometers Accelerometers, cameras and any combination thereof; Determining, by at least one of the p detectors, each time period (Δt i ) that the dairy animal is not within an FDR stall; for each period (Δt i ) that the milk animal is not within an FDR stall, by means of at least one of the p detectors, continuously or temporarily determining the head acceleration of the animal (a x, y, z (t)) and thereby for each of the time periods (Δt i ) defining an animal head movement energy value (E move (Δt i )); Generating for the animal and for each first predetermined time period n, a total head motion energy value E move, total (n) by summing up all of the head motion energy values produced during the first predetermined time period n, e move . total ( n ) = Σ i = i b e G i n i e n d e m O v e . t O t a l ( Δ t i ) ;
    Figure DE202017007021U1_0005
    Averaging over a second predetermined time period comprising N of the first predetermined time periods, where N is an integer greater than 1, all of the total head motion energy values E move, total (n), and thereby generating a baseline head motion energy E move ; Determining for at least one of the second predetermined time periods a maximum daily head movement energy value E move, max = max (E move, total (n)); and generating an eastern irrigation arm when the head motion energy value E move, total (n) is greater than (E move, max + E move ) / 2. Again, for example, the first predetermined time period is approximately one day. Shorter or longer periods are also provided usefully. In addition, energy values may be measured during only one time period or as a sum of all values measured during a plurality of periods while the dairy animal is not within the FDR stall. For example, the second predetermined period is about one month. Shorter or longer periods are also provided usefully.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an MMU comprising a TCA, wherein the TCA is configured to milk each quarter of the cow separately.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an FDR as defined in any of the above, comprising a milk comprising a first separation vessel into which milk milked by a first animal is delivered before at least one second cow is milked.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an FDR as defined in any of the above, comprising a milk comprising a second separation vessel into which milk milked from at least a first quarter (teat) of an animal is delivered before at least a second one Quarter (teat) of the animal is milked.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an FDR as defined in any of the above, wherein said MMUs are configured to dock, communicate with, or otherwise connect to at least one recycling station.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an FDR as defined in any of the above, wherein said recycling stations comprise at least one module selected from a group consisting of a milk collection module, a milk chemical and biological analyzing module, a milk separation module, an MMUs emptying module, an MMUs cleaning module, a MMUs recycling module, a MMUs with water and consumables loading module and any combination thereof.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an FDR as defined in any of the above, wherein said milk chemical and biological analyzing module comprises an analyzer configured to milk each said milk extracted from each of the quarters of the cows was to analyze separately.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an FDR as defined in any of the above, wherein said recycling station is connectable to a central header either directly or via a pipeline, and wherein said recycling station is further configured to said MMU and to wash the said pipeline.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a method for avoiding the mixing of milk from infected quarters with milk from healthy quarters of a dairy animal, comprising steps of milking each quarter separately and draining the milk from each of the quarters into an independent container ,
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose a TCA as defined in any of the above, wherein the TCA further comprises a teat-cleaning cup configured horizontally on top of the TCA; said cleaning cup being further connected to conduits containing hot water, air and vacuum.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein the MMU comprises a taxi, wherein said taxi is configured to move said MMU horizontally along the elevated rail drive; wherein said MMU further comprises a messenger configured for both (i) downloading the MMU substantially vertically from the elevated track to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stall, and (ii) uploading substantially vertically said MMU to said taxi unit; and further wherein said MMU comprises an extension configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein said MMU is configured to both download a milking unit substantially vertically from said elevated track to a lower docking station that is within or in communication with provided to the stable, and for substantially vertically uploading the same.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein the MMU comprises at least one of a taxi, messenger, extension group; wherein said taxi is configured to drive said MMU horizontally along said elevated rail; said messenger is configured for both (i) downloading said MMU substantially vertically from said elevated rail to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stable, and (ii) substantially vertically uploading said MMU the said taxi unit; and wherein said extension is configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
  • Another object of the present invention is to disclose an MMU as defined in any of the above, wherein the MMU comprises at least one of a taxi, messenger, extension group; wherein said taxi is configured to drive a milking unit horizontally along said elevated one; said MMU is configured for both (i) downloading said milking unit substantially vertically from said elevated track to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stall, and (ii) substantially vertically uploading the milking unit to the docking station said taxi unit; and wherein said extension is configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
  • list of figures
  • Exemplary embodiments are illustrated in the figures to which reference is made. It is intended that the embodiments and figures disclosed herein be interpreted as illustrative rather than limiting. The disclosure, however, both as to the organization and method of operation, together with the objects, features and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following detailed description when read with the accompanying drawings, in which:
    • 1 presented a photograph of the crowding, blocking and waiting of cows in prior art dairy technology;
    • 2 presented a photograph of the crowded waiting for the milking parlor in prior art dairy technology;
    • the 3-16 illustrate an FDR according to some embodiments of the invention; 3 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 4 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention, wherein an MMU has approximated the back of a cow to be milked;
    • 6 schematically illustrates a series of stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention, wherein here the cow eats while waiting for an MMU;
    • 7 schematically illustrates a series of stalls within a FDR with a suspended / elevated rail over the stalls according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 8th schematically illustrates an arrangement of FDRs interconnected by one or more mutual MMU (s) according to one embodiment of the invention;
    • the 9A-9B schematically illustrate two FDR plans according to an embodiment of the invention wherein fed cows are continuously and uninterruptedly stopped in a non-manipulative manner to move as they please, without snakes and blockages, from the MLA to a feeding area, then optionally across a treatment area back to the MLA, and so on and so forth;
    • 10 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 11 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 12 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 13 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 14 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 15 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 16 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • the 17A-17F schematically illustrate a stable according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 18 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 19 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 20 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 21 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 22 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 23 schematically illustrates an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 24A schematically illustrates a group of three views of a first approach of a "messenger" -free "taxi" enabling MMU transport system according to an embodiment of the invention; the 24B-24F schematically illustrate some views of a second approach of a "taxi-to-messen" MMU transport system according to an embodiment of the invention; the 24G-24L schematically illustrate some views of an MMU extending system according to one embodiment of the invention;
    • 25 schematically illustrates a group of three views of at least one of the following: TCA, TCA AM, MMUs, Melkarme and modules thereof, operating units and subunits thereof, operational axes (x, y, z) and plans thereof, and degrees of freedom (D-linear degrees of freedom Degrees of freedom e-elbow, s-shoulder, w-joint) of their operation according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 26 schematically illustrates a group of five views of at least one of the following: TOA, TCA AM, MMUs, milking arms and modules thereof, operating units and subunits thereof, operational axes (x, y, z) and plans thereof, and degrees of freedom of their operation according to one embodiment the invention;
    • 27 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 28 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention, left: cow enters the stable; middle: Taxi transports the MMU to its location; left: Taxi positions the MMU next to the upper docking station;
    • 29 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention, Taxi loads MMU onto the rails of the upper docking station; left: positioning of the MMU; center; Loading the MMU; left: MMU coupling;
    • 30 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention, the taxi ejects its loading arms and loads the MMU to dock within the station, then retracts the ejection arms; right: the taxi exhaust arms retreat;
    • 31 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention; the taxi moves to its next task; the MMU is lowered to the lower docking station;
    • 32 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention; after milking, a vertical unit raises the MMU and waits for the taxi to take it away. The cow is free to leave the stable;
    • 33 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention; the taxi arrives at the station and connected to the MMU;
    • 34 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention; the taxi pulls the MMU;
    • 35 schematically illustrates stalls within an FDR plan according to an embodiment of the invention; the taxi transports the MMU to the recycling station;
    • the 36-41 schematically illustrate various views of the TYPE IV milking assembly and its mode of use, insertion to the teats and contraction / retraction according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 42 schematically illustrates a rail bend interconnecting two or more adjacent FDRs according to one embodiment of the invention;
    • 43 schematically illustrates a rounded FDR where a feed and logistics center is positioned in the center of the FDR, with the FDR rounded or otherwise shaped or arranged in a close structure that is at least partially curved and / or shaped as in a polygonal manner, according to an embodiment of the invention;
    • 44 schematically illustrates an embodiment of the rounded FDR, including, inter alia, a feed and logistics center, a dry cow area, a main living area and a cow treatment area;
    • 45 schematically illustrates a star-like FDR arrangement comprising, in accordance with one embodiment of the invention, inter alia, a feed and logistics center, a dry cow area, a main life area and a cow treatment area; and
    • 46 Four camera photos from CRM-enabled mid-crosses on rear legs of cows reproduces.
  • Detailed description of preferred embodiments
  • The following description is therefore provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make use of the invention and sets forth the best modes contemplated by the inventor for carrying out his invention. However, various modifications are adapted to remain apparent to those skilled in the art, as the generic principles of the present invention have been specifically defined to provide milking systems, subsystems, modules, devices, and more particularly milking systems for cows comprising FDR, MMU, CPA & C and methods thereof.
  • Overhung Free Range (FDR) is a disruptive technique, a paradigm shift in the layout of dairy farms, and operational and supporting automation technology. It is significantly better than the prevalent dairy farm layouts, both loose-keeping (first-generation milking parlors and milking robots) and tethering stalls. FDR better supports the health and well-being of cows, enables optimal production of higher quality milk, improves operating margins, makes farm work easier and more satisfying, and reduces land requirements.
  • It is well within the scope of the present invention to provide a novel FDR approach, technique, system and subsystems, methods and applications (see the figures below). In this FDR, dairy animals have free access to their stall to be fed and milked simultaneously and in a synchronized manner. The FRD includes, among other things, a plurality of stables, s is an integer equal to or greater than one; at least one of the stalls is characterized by a front side and an opposite rear side in which a milk animal is accommodated, at least temporarily, with the head opposite the front side; and a plurality of m major lives (MLA), m is an integer equal to or greater than one; at least one of the MLAs is in communication with at least one of the stalls by means of a plurality of g gates, g is an integer equal to or greater than one. The FDR further comprises a substantially horizontally positioned elevated rail system comprising a plurality of e raised rails, e is an integer equal to or greater than one; and a plurality of n mobile milking units (MMUs), n is an integer equal to or greater than one, each of the MMUs being configured to transport on the elevated rail to a dairy animal in its stall and milking the animal during it eats.
  • Cows spend about 30% of their daily time waiting, which is about 8 hours a day: cows wait about three times a day to be milked, cows are managed to wait for these milking treatments and around the area Maneuvering the pasture, waiting for feeding, waiting on their way to feeding, waiting for treatments, etc. When transported, cows are maneuvered and motivated physically and emotionally. When maneuvered to their boring day-to-day routine, many cows lose their milking group, etc. All of this waiting, maneuvering and losing their cow friends hurts the cow, harms her health and irreversibly damages her milk productivity. The current FDR technique as defined, described, illustrated and claimed in the present invention eliminates waiting, reduces the amount and compulsion of animal maneuvering, improves animal quality of life and, in turn, increases the milk productivity and short-term and long-term health of the animal. Therefore, now on the 3 to 39 With reference to the figures, which illustrate, in a non-limiting and not to scale, diagrammatically various embodiments of the FDR, MMU, TCA disclosed herein, and of modules thereof. The FDR approach and technology disclosed therein discloses a novel, highly agriculturally efficient, ecologically desirable and animal cruelty preventing agent for milking dairy animals, including, but not limited to, cows. Financially, the reduction of 8 wasted hours significantly increases the profitability of the dairy farm and the business structure.
  • More than that, and as Sir Francis Bacon puts it, if Muhammad does not go to the mountain, then the mountain must come to Muhammad, see Eassys, 1625. The FDR technology disclosed here changes the milking industry in a revolutionary way: fearful animals are not manipulated to get to the milking device, but the milking device is brought to the resting animal. Therefore, specific to the 3-16 Reference is made illustrating an FDR according to some embodiments of the invention.
  • Such as In 3 presented is FDR ( 100 ) a synergistic integration of different modules located in several different defined locations: One main area of life (MLA 1 ), which has at least one exit gate ( 13 ): The MLA is associated with at least one feeding area ( 2 ) by means of one or more unidirectional gates ( 3 ). The voluntary movement of the cows from the MLA to the feeding area is provided in a non-manipulative manner, as the cows will go to feed whenever they like. In the feeding area, the cows are housed within a plurality of open stalls ( 4 ) fed, z. B. where food is provided, piled, arranged, adapted and otherwise handled by means of a mobile feeding unit (MFU, see ellipse 5 ). During feeding, in a computerized manner, one or more mobile milking units (MMUs, see squares 6 ) to milk those fed cows that need to be milked.
  • The milk flows from the teats of the cows via a milk line to one or more milk containers by means of the MMUs, the milk containers being selected in a non-limiting way from a group including, but not limited to, a moving MMU container, an assembly of two or more more milk collecting containers (see triangles 7 ), a central container (not shown here) and any combination thereof. After feeding, the cows walk in a non-manipulative manner either to the MLA or via one or more unidirectional separation gates ( 11 ) to a treatment area ( 10 ). While they are in the treatment area ( 9 ), the cows can continue to be fed, e.g. In a preparation and cup placement unit (PCPU, Fig. 8) configured for teat preparation and fixation. Another treatment can be done in a chute ( 12 ) to be provided. Cows in the treatment area may be treated using the MMU, MPCPU or PCPU in the same manner as in the feeding area (FIG. 2 ) are milked.
  • It is within the scope of the invention that, according to one embodiment of the technology, the milking containers are an integral module in the MMU so that the milk flows directly from the teat cups through the milk lines (tubes) to the container, one container for all four teat cups for each teat cup for milk from each quarter, thereby making a quarter milking (individual attachment, milking control and measurement and release for each teat cup and quarter). Milk from one container, such as the aforementioned integrated container MMU, is emptied into another container when the MMU is moved by the transport system, e.g. B. along the hanging rails. Thus, the milk may be transported through a pipeline route system by moving milking containers to other containers or to an emptying and recycling unit for emptying the milk or any combination thereof.
  • It is within the scope of the invention that, according to one embodiment of the technology, wherein the MMU and its milking systems are configured to milk each quarter of the cow separately, then analyze, transport and separately store it (if necessary) so that milk for one or more infected quarters other milk is not contaminated.
  • Like that partly in the 9A-9B and other drawings attached hereafter, fed cows in an unmanipulated manner are teased to move, as they please, continuously and uninterruptedly, without snakes and blockages, from the MLA to the feeding area, then optionally across the treatment area back to the feeding area MLA, and so on and so forth.
  • It is well within the scope of the invention that the term "cow" interchangeably refers to any member of the families of cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats and other milk-producing farm animals.
  • FDR production costs are estimated at $ 1000 per cow. With an estimated retail price of $ 3,000 per cow (similar to the cost of the first generation of milking robots and advanced modern milking parlors), the company expects to receive $ 50 million worth of products in approximately 70 farms within 6 years 250 Cows / farm for sale and install. This market is provided by the tempting operating profits and the growing difficulty of having trained milking workers.
  • It will be shown below that the FDR discloses expected profits when an FDR farm opts for a modern milking parlor or first generation milking robot. Based on these profits The FDR enables sale to most new farms and farms that want to modernize / replace a refurbished milking parlor or first generation robots. It may also be possible to sell in dairy farms with a modern milking parlor, which would like to automate and find a solution to the problem of employing suitable milking staff. Farms that have recently introduced robots are unlikely to opt for the FDR before their robots are worn out.
  • The FDR as presented in this invention is a cost effective and economically viable technology. One can expect to sell in most of the new farms, and in farms that want to modernize / replace a refurbished milking parlor or first-generation robots. It may also be possible to sell in dairy farms with a modern milking parlor that would like to automate and find a solution to the problem of employing appropriate milking staff. Farms that have recently introduced robots are less likely to opt for FDR before their robots are worn out.
  • It is within the scope of the present invention that the arrangement, architecture, and integration of the modules of this new loose cow shelter is usefully provided for milking cows, while the free (unattached) cows feed without any disturbance proposed to them is supplied, for. B. their (potentially individual) total mixed ration (TMR).
  • It is also within the scope of the present invention that some MMUs successfully cover a single FDR, stable / yard.
  • It will be up now 8th Referring now to Figure 1, which illustrates one embodiment of the invention, an arrangement of FDRs is disclosed. In this arrangement, at least some of the roads (here a sequence of FDRs parallel to the X-axis, viz X1Y1 . X2Y1 . XnY1 and x1y2 . X2Y2 . XnY2 etc.) and avenues (here a sequence of FDRs parallel to the Y-axis, namely X1Y1 . x1y2 , X1Yn and x1y2 . X2Y2 . XnY2 etc.) are interconnected by mutual ER, z. B. ER ( 51 . 52 ), Avenues ER ( 53 - 55 ) and interconnected roads / avenues ER subsystems and the main system ( 51 - 55 ). Of course, it is possible to connect the FDRs in any other geometry and share other resources among them as well.
  • It is recognized in this regard that milking stations can be arranged in many geometries, along a line, along corners, along inner and outer circles or ellipses, etc. Further, PCPUs can move independently of MMUs and temporarily with them for purposes of milking or permanently or semi-permanently attached to them. Additionally or alternatively, the cup placement may be aided or directed by a human operator,
  • FDR arrangements and sequences as described above may vary in shape and size: rectangular shapes, circular shapes, star-like shapes, etc. Therefore, it will now be respectful 40 Reference is made schematically illustrating a rail bend interconnecting two or more adjacent FDRs according to one embodiment of the invention. 41 schematically illustrates a rounded FDR with a feed and logistics center positioned in the center of the FDR, with the FDR rounded or otherwise shaped or arranged in a close structure that is at least partially curved and / or shaped as in a polygonal manner, according to an embodiment of the invention. 42 schematically illustrates an embodiment of the aforementioned rounded FDR comprising, inter alia, a feed and logistics center, a dry cow area, a main living area, and a cow treatment area. 43 schematically illustrates a star-type FDR arrangement comprising, inter alia, according to an embodiment of the invention, a feed and logistics center, a dry cow area, a main living area and a cow treatment area.
  • It is also within the scope of the present invention, where the MMU ( 6 ) is configured to approach and approach fixed cows at the time of their feeding, not a milking system, manipulating maneuverable cows to reach a stationary robot.
  • As stated above, it is also within the scope of the present invention to intuitively and freely passively suggest the cows and allow them to move from one area and one activity to another area and activity Everything is provided by the arrangement, architecture, and module integration of this new free range cows and without the stressful handling applications of the prior art.
  • It is also within the scope of the present invention to provide an arrangement of elevated rails, e.g. Overhead and / or suspended rails, all of which are interchangeably referred to herein as elevated rails, ER, used to move the MMUs (6). Therefore, according to an embodiment of the invention, the ER is configured in such a way that it is disposed above and on one of a group consisting of (i) said FDR, (ii) any normal and ordinary (non-FDR) stall or dairy farm, and (iii) a part thereof. Such an ER is designed not to disturb the milking of the cows and to match the stall / yard arrangement, and their size and location, which is a disadvantage of some of the commercially available rails which are at ground level, ie next to the yard and the stables. It is recognized in that regard that all or some of the mobile units are movable by various means and methods, such as by ropes, chains, or that they are self-propelled.
  • It is also within the scope of the present invention to provide milk lines in physical communication with the ER. It is therefore, according to an embodiment of the invention, wherein milk milked from the cow by the MMU is flowed through the milk lines from the MMU along the ER to a central header, to one of an array of headers, or to a combination thereof becomes. Additionally or alternatively, the MMUs are also able to move along the rails and dock with the central / recycling unit to empty the milk and to be treated. The emptying unit / recycling unit may be connected directly or via a pipeline to a central header so as to be able to wash the unit and the milk piping.
  • According to one embodiment of the invention, an MMU is designed to approximate the cow from its sides and / or its back. A sequence comprising a group of three steps is usefully provided here: step one is important to get a start position for the MMU behind the cow; Step two begins from this position, the PCPU or MPCPU manipulates the teat cups to a second position where it "sees" the cow's teats; and step three is the attachment.
  • The MMU is transportable between neighboring stables. As an example, an MMUi is stable at T 0 X2Y3 locates. After she has finished milking the cow there, automatically through a computerized milking protocol and MMU motion control (CAP & C) and transferred to an adjacent stall, e.g. One of the following direct neighbors X2Y2 . X1Y3 or indirect neighbors X5Y3 . X2Y1 or XIY4 to milk a second cow and Ti. CAP & C thus optimizes milking performance and reduces operating costs. It also increases the reliability of the system as a whole by making it possible to overcome malfunctions in individual units, to reduce the need for spare parts capacities and to provide appealing performance degradations.
  • The technology avoids milking snakes. A CAP & C assisted FDR eliminates cows' fatigue and stress, reducing milk losses and cow injuries with daily, never-ending milking snakes typical of the current state of the art and in the art 1 and 2 are illustrated.
  • No less important is that cows are highly social animals; The technology described herein avoids cow stress by its temporary or permanent segregation from its milking group, as previously defined. The technology ensures that cows can continuously and uninterruptedly stay in their safe social environment provided by the group that owns their FDR, further reducing cow stress, milk loss, injury, and improving cow health and overall well-being , Even if they need to be temporarily separated for treatment, they can interact with other members of their own group and still see other members.
  • The automatic separation also drastically minimizes the need for people inside the MLA, again reducing cows' inconvenience.
  • The technology presented here provides small, young and relatively passive cows with an equal opportunity to approach both feed and milking instead of establishing and maintaining a dangerous superiority of a dominant cow in terms of access to feed, access to the milking facilities, etc. as is characteristic of most of the current state of the art.
  • This technology is further useful in handling dry cows, droughts, etc., through the synergistic means of their individually operated NMUs and the aforementioned unique FDR architecture. Drying and dry cows no longer need to be separated from their group.
  • Likewise, this technology unexpectedly provides better results in all aspects related to cow nutrition, particularly in automatically and accurately providing food from a personalized diet to individual cows. In this way, for example, dry cows special low-energy diet. Similarly, a personalized medical care administered in parallel and in online connection with the personalized food is made possible by the aforementioned cost-efficient unique FDR arrangement, see, for example, the treatment area (FIG. 9 , please refer 3 and also in the 9A-9B) the MMU workspace ( 2 ) follows.
  • The new FDR and its special arrangement, characterized by one or more scalable subsystems of the MMU, which, as presented above, are operable by one or more CAP & C operators, provides an opportunity for personalized (individual) cow management, rather than one statistical, non-individual milking group management as it is practiced today.
  • It is also within the scope of the invention that a yard area may accommodate any number of milking groups at any specific time interval. The MMU is CAP & C-oriented on a predefined cow and NOT aimed at a specific milking group.
  • It is therefore further within the scope of the invention that the novel FDR, CAP & C and modules thereof defined for this purpose are usefully provided for customizing and improving milking intervals and milking frequencies as defined and explained above for any specific cow, at any time, in any state of health, etc.
  • The FDR of the present invention is closer to free access feeding techniques. One aspect of the present technology, therefore, is to minimize the handling of the cow. The novel role here is that the MMU is handled CAP & C to the cow, while the cows are never manipulated to the milking facilities, but the milking is done "on the fly" if and when it is needed and when they are eating.
  • FDR, MMUs, CAP & C etc. are of a scalable system, arrangements, subsystems and modalities thereof, operations, control, etc. All are designed and configured to ensure both (i) careful incremental cost-efficient expansion of facilities if and then when size grows as well as (ii) a way of scaling up a significant size of FDR capacities, capabilities, size and dimensions supporting large farms (thousands of cows) and megafarms (tens of thousands of cows). For example, a first FDR may include two MMUs, three adjacent stalls (e.g. X1Y1 . x1y2 & X1Y3 Module), then a slightly developed FDR includes three MMUs in one X1Y1 to X2Y5 Module. Otherwise, a significant scale-up of one order of magnitude is provided when the second FDR includes, for example, four NMUs CAP & C-operable in an approximately square arrangement of nine adjacent stalls (e.g. X1Y1 . x1y2 & X1Y3 ; X2Y1 . X2Y2 & X2Y3 and X3Y1 . X3Y2 & X33Y3 Module), and so on.
  • With respect to the above-mentioned US'058, the integration of the FDRs, MMUs, CAP & Cs disclosed thereto synergistically increased milk production and reduced both cow stress and operating costs by providing transposable milking units designed to approximate the cow in addition requires no manipulation by the prior art milking systems.
  • US 8,291,860 "Apparatus and method for positioning a teat cup" by Delaval Holdings AB, which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses an apparatus and method for locating a teat cup for use in a milking parlor. The apparatus includes a milking stall provided on a rotatable platform and a system for controlling the movement of a teat cup magazine relative to the stall. The motion control system allows movement of the magazine between first and second predetermined positions relative to the milking stall. However, the invention does not disclose the use of a camera to indicate the location of the cup in the vicinity of the cow's teat.
  • It is also within the scope of the invention, wherein the FRD is further encompassed or otherwise provided in connection with one or more auxiliary means, modalities, and operating media (in short, devices).
  • It is therefore within the scope of the invention, wherein the FDR further comprises at least one management device. In one embodiment, a farming robot is used to dry or otherwise treat the floor of the house (to provide methods of making and using compost by injecting oxygen into the ground). In another embodiment, a management robot is automatically used for robot floor cleaning, ground removal, etc. Its operation is provided in one or several ways, such as in a manually controlled manner, automatically by a processor in conjunction with computer readable medium means, and robotically in a manner such as Robot floor cleaner is operated in a given area, in conjunction with MMU and sensors of which (see the camera definition below), under control of CPA & C and a combination thereof.
  • It is recognized in this regard that various other devices in the FDR disclosed herein are connectable and operable. A non-limiting list thereof includes, among other things, at least one milk container; Driving force and general resources and lines thereof, wherein driving force and general lines include, for example, energy (mechanical driving force, heat, electricity, etc.), steam, compressed air and cleaning and / or disinfecting fluids, vacuum, fluid outlet means and effluents thereof, etc .; Raw material preparation means and lines thereof including z. Animal feed and ingredients thereof, drinking water, etc .; Product containers and lines thereof, in particular milk intermediate containers, end product milk containers and lines thereof. Lines are provided in any suitable manner including underground, on the ground and higher (elevated) suspended, hung or suspended lines, e.g. As lines that are immobilized on upper rails or otherwise secured. Examples of such a higher (elevated) suspended rail and a FDR of various arrangements including the same are disclosed, inter alia, in US Pat 7 . 17A . 19-22 and 24A-24F provided.
  • It will now be on the 17B Reference is made illustrating a stable and a milking station according to yet another embodiment of the invention. The service inlets of the MMU and docking stations interconnected with and include, among others, water, propulsion, air, vacuum delivery means and quick connectors ( 1701 ), Supply line ( 1702 ), a plurality of sprinkler systems with water under high pressure, z. B. about six sprinkler systems configured to wash (i) the floor of the house, (ii) 1703 ), the trough ( 1704 ), Barn width is about 80/100 cm, inner / outer dimensions, width of the input side is approximately between 73 to about 80 cm ( 1705 ), and the barn length is approximately 247 cm ( 1706 ).
  • It will now be on the 17C-F Each of which illustrates the unique dimensions of the above-defined stall with the floor inclined (approximately 1.5 degrees) toward the main drain (approximately 100 cm wide), approximately 18 cm step; Stall drainage conduit, which is substantially perpendicular to the main drainage conduit, is a concave recess (approximately 142.15 degrees), approximately 35 cm of somewhat conical width (approximately 4 degrees widening), approximately 12 cm deep, approximately 115/122 cm in length (net raw).
  • The 24A-L to 33 further disclose at least one of the following: FDR, TCA, AM, MMU, milking arms and modules thereof, operating units and subunits thereof, operating axes and plans thereof, and degrees of freedom of operation thereof according to still other embodiments of the invention. It is further appreciated in this regard that the MMUs (s) according to an embodiment of the invention comprise autonomous devices. Therefore, the MMU includes or is provided in temporary (occasional) or continuous connection with one or more one-cow or one-quarter milk containers, power supplies and lines thereof. According to this embodiment, milk from one or several cows is stored in or in connection with the MMU until it is allowed to flow through the milk lines to a subsequent milk container, or the MMU moves to the milk container and empties the milk. Alternatively, or additionally, milk from the MMU is directed directly to the milk container of the MMU via an assembly of suitably constructed milk lines to a remote milk container without temporary lingering. Alternatively or additionally, milk from the MMU is directed either to a mobile or fixed MMU satellite device which at least temporarily holds the milk in its container.
  • It will now be on the 24A Reference is made disclosing a first approach of the mobile milking system, MMU and subsystems thereof. Here, the milking unit slides on a rail above the line of the barn to approach the cows from behind. An autonomous and / or at least partially online operated & controlled "taxi" unit drives the milking unit along the rail to the stable. The movement of the taxi is a substantially horizontal movement along the X-axis and the Y-axis.
  • A second approach of the mobile milking system, MMU and subsystems thereof is disclosed hereto. The autonomous and / or At least partially online operated & controlled MMU is similarly horizontally transported along a raised rail of the aforementioned "taxi", however, the substantially vertical movement is enabled by at least one "messenger", ie an MMU-transporting device which vertically mounts the MMU down from the elevated rail to a lower docking station provided within or in connection with the stall. After the cow has been milked, the messenger uploads the MMU up to the taxi.
  • It will now be on the 24B-24G Referring now to a second approach of the mobile milking system, MMU and subsystems. Here again, the autonomous and / or at least partially online operated & controlled MMU is transported horizontally along an elevated rail of the aforementioned "taxi", but the substantially vertical movement is enabled by means of at least one "messenger", ie an MMU-transporting device downloads the MMU vertically down from the elevated track to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stall. After the cow has been milked, the messenger uploads the MMU up to the taxi.
  • Where the first horizontal MMU movement along a raised rail or equivalent thereof is permitted by the taxiing device and a second vertical movement by the courier, the lower horizontal movement of the milking device from the docking station to the lower rear of the cow is enabled by a third device, namely the MMU extension. It will now be on the 24J-24G Referring still to disclose another aspect of the invention where the extension reversibly approaches the milking device towards the teats of the cow. An embodiment of such a milking device is presented below in the TYPE IV device, see 36-41 ,
  • The MMUs are in conjunction with other autonomous facilities such as recycling stations where milk is collected, MMUs are docked and emptied. The milk is measured in quantity and analyzed for chemical and biological components, either the whole udder from a single container or from every quarter of the cow from four containers. This will separate abnormal milk from one or more quarters or from the entire udder. Then the MMUs are recycled, cleaned, loaded (eg with water and consumables) and operated. The milk is transported to a central container for storage and collection. Autonomous facilities therefore further include cleaners for the milk containers.
  • With regard to power supply and any other resource flow from the external FDR environment to the MMU, according to one embodiment of the invention, power and other resources are provided directly to the MMU via fixed lines, e.g. B. by rail-mounted cables. Alternatively or additionally, energy and other resources are provided indirectly to the MMU, e.g. B. via an MMU satellite device z. B. a MMU cart worn means, a mobile equipment station, a fixed equipment station, another MMU or built-MMU storage tanks for electricity, water and other resources required is.
  • It is therefore still within the scope of the invention to introduce a teatcup assembly. This interactive, communicable cup assembly (TCA) comprises (a) four cups designed to be inserted to the teats either (i) simultaneously and simultaneously or (ii) in a predefined or dynamically defined order; (b) a TCA manipulator (AM) configured to actuate the distal end of the teat cups toward the teat ends of the cow; (c) at least one camera in conjunction with the TCA, which is focused on both the cups and the teats, and thus determines the 3D spatial orientation of one or more teat cups in the vicinity of the adjacent one or more teats; and (d) a computer-readable medium (CRM) that is in either wired or wireless communication with the camera and has instructions for the AM to operate the teat cups toward the cow's teats.
  • The term "camera" is hereafter given for any sensor or encoder of images, e.g. In IR, NIR, or observable spectra with any suitable lens assembly designed to acquire 2D or 3D information (eg, by stereoscopic means and / or time of flight measurements and / or any other means), or a sensor based on acoustic data. The term equally refers to digital or video image capturing modules, sensors and devices thereof and is used for at least one device that can use two, three or more cameras. In a non-limiting manner, both CCD and CMOS digital cameras, with or without zoom, are usefully provided for this purpose. In one embodiment of the invention, the term also refers to at least one camera selected from a group consisting of a digital or video image capturing module, an image-sensing sensor, a thermally-acquiring sensor, a CCD, a wide-angle optical sensor, zoom-enabled optical sensors, a thermal sensor, an optical sensor including a monochromatic sensor or a combination of two or more monochromatic sensors, a magnetic detector, a fluorescence detector, a laser detector, a thermo-optically integrated sensor, a time of flight (TOF), a TOF Sensor, a structured light camera, a structured light sensor and any combination thereof.
  • It is within the scope of the invention to use the camera to perceive the 3D spatial orientation and location of one or more individual cow teats, thus facilitating the approach of the milking device to the teats or teats. In another Therefore, in the embodiment of the technique, not all cow teats are targeted to which a single teatcup assembly is to approach, but individual teats having their own 3D orientation and location are approximated by means of the camera feedback mechanism. It is within the scope of the invention where a single camera targets all four teats or where a plurality of cameras are used to provide feedback regarding the approach of the milking assembly to the plurality of teats. The term "plural" refers to an integer or things equal to or greater than one, e.g. B. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.
  • It is within the scope of the invention, wherein the camera / cameras are provided in association with a maneuverable milking assembly or a feedback controllable maneuverable milking assembly, and further wherein the milking assembly is provided in connection with the elevated / suspended rail construction defined therefor.
  • It is also within the scope of the invention, wherein the camera / cameras are provided in connection with a milking arrangement comprising a plurality of teat cups having a distal portion facing the cow's teats and a proximal portion is associated with a base, wherein the base is selected from the group consisting of a multi-level base, a multi-faceted base, a segmented base, a retractable base, and any other base defined by more than one degree of freedom relative to the location The 3D orientation of the spatial of the camera (s), the ground plane of the base and the one or more teat cups is characterized.
  • It is also within the scope of the invention to disclose a Communicable Teat Cup Assembly (TCA). Among other things, the TCA includes a plurality of milking cups, a TCA manipulator, at least one camera, and a computer readable medium (CRM) that is in wireline or wireless communication with the camera and that has a manipulator design around the teatcups to push to the cow teats. In one embodiment of the technology, the TCA approximates the teats of the cow from the back of the cow, namely between and through the hind legs of the cow. This TCA maneuver is enabled and controlled by an image-processing CMR configured to allocate both the right and left hind legs of the cow in either 2D or 3D, the center of the height of the legs (Z major axis) and To define the distance of the legs (Y-main axis) and thus to enable the TCM or to pass it so that it passes between in the middle or adjacent to the place.
  • It will therefore be on 46 Reference, the four camera photos of the hind legs of the cow ( 441 - 446 ) shows. The CRM is configured to allocate middle parts of left and right hind legs (eg, crosses 445 and 446 ). As can be seen in the photos, the system is useful in all cases, especially when two legs are substantially upright or substantially inclined ( 441 ), two legs are even and where the right or left legs are positioned in front of the other leg.
  • In a very similar manner, the CRM of the present invention is configured to allocate each of the cow's teats and provide 2D or 3D orientation of the teats by means of one or more cameras. This milking system is therefore useful in all cases, especially when the teats are substantially erect (perpendicular to the floor of the barn) or, alternatively, when one or more of the teats are substantially inclined, two teats are even and where one or more of the teats are positioned in front of the other teat.
  • Alternatively, and in accordance with yet another embodiment of the technology, a cameraless teat assembly mechanism is disclosed. In this milking system, once a cup is provided or located near the teat, the location of the other adjacent teats is non-optically calculated and the 3D orientation of these adjacent teats is provided.
  • According to yet another embodiment of the technology, cow testing and assessment is usefully provided by deep learning ("machine learning").
  • According to yet another embodiment of the invention, a machine learning algorithm is used. These deep learning means and methods use a cascade of a plurality of plies from non-linear feature extraction and transformation processing units such that the 2D or 3D orientation of the hind legs is provided as above and the 2D or 3D orientation of each of the teats is provided next to it. Each successive layer uses the output of the previous layers as input to configure the milking arm movement via the hind legs of the cow 2D or 3D and to secure the milking cups under the teats before milking, as well as retracting the cups and arm in the same way after milking is completed. It is within the scope of the invention, wherein the algorithm is monitored, unmonitored or partially monitored, and the Applications include pattern analysis (not monitored) and classification (monitored).
  • It is therefore in accordance with one embodiment of the invention, wherein the means and methods of hierarchical learning are based, at least in part, on partially unmonitored learning of multiple levels of features or representations of the data. Higher level features are derived from lower level features to form a hierarchical representation. This "hind leg & teat image processing capability" of the deep structured learning milking system is part of a broader machine learning means and method is usefully provided in this new FDR which is further configured to learn representations of data; milking learns several levels of representations that correspond to different levels of abstraction: the levels form a hierarchy of concepts.
  • According to one embodiment of the invention, the aforesaid machine learning algorithm and the means thereof are further used for the health evaluation of the cow; please refer Heinrichs AJ, and VA Ishler, "Body condition scoring as a tool for dairy herd management", College of Agricultural Sciences, Cooperative Extension, 1989 ; Roche, John R. et al. "Invited review: Body condition score and its association with dairy cow productivity, health, and welfare", Journal of Dairy Science 92.12 (2009): 5769-5801 ; Spoiiansky, Rou, et al. "Development of automatic body condition scoring using a low-cost 3-dimensional Kinect camera", Journal of Dairy Science 99.9 (2016), 7714-7725 ; and Lynn, Nay Chi, Thi Thi Zin, and Ikuo Kobayashi, "Automatic Assessing Body Condition Score from Digital Images by Active Shape Mode and Multiple Regression Technique" (2017) ; which are incorporated herein by reference. Therefore, for example, a rear part of the cow is imaged to determine the spatial orientation of the hind legs. During this time, the health of the cow is evaluated. Similarly, the teats are also analyzed and their thermal image and condition are also provided.
  • Therefore, the MMU or a part thereof, e.g. Extension, according to one embodiment of the technology, one or more photocameras (CCD), a video camera, one or more optical sensors, one or more thermographic sensors, or a combination thereof or associated therewith. According to yet another embodiment of the technology, the testing and assessment of the condition of the cow is usefully provided by deep learning (machine learning), e.g. B. as is disclosed by Tedin, Rafael, et al. Computational Intelligence and Virtual Environments for Measurment Systems and Applications (CIVEMSA), 2013 IEEE International Conference on IEEE, 2013 ; Tedin, Rafael, et al. "Towards Automatic Estimation of the Body Condition Score of Dairy Cattle Using Hand-held Images and Active Shape Models", KES, Vol. 243, 2012 ; Huo, Xiaojing et al., "On Datasocket Technology," Information Technology Journal, 12.21 (2013), 6385-6390 ; Spoliansky, Roii et al., "Development of automatic body condition scoring using a low-cost 3-dimensional Kinect camera," Journal of Dairy Science 99.9 (2016), 7714-7725 ; and Chay-Canul, Alfonso J. et al., "Body fat reserves and their relationship to ultrasound back fat measurements in Pelibuey ewes", Ecosistemas y Recursos Agropecuarios 3.9 (2016), 407-413 , etc., which are all incorporated herein by reference.
  • According to yet another embodiment of the invention, the above-mentioned sensors incorporated in connection with the MMU and subunits thereof are useful for identifying an estrus condition in cows in the manners as disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 4,648,866 Chowdhurv, Sujan, et al. "Deep Learning Based Computer Vision Technique for Automatic Heat Detection In Cows", Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications (DICTA), 2016 International Conference on IEEE, 2016 ; Halli K., et al., "Investigations on a measured intake intake amount in dairy cows during the oestrus period" Archive for Animal Husbandry 58.1 (2015), 93 ; Shahriar, Md Sumon, et al. "Heat event detection in dairy cows with collar sensors: an unsupervised machine learning approach", SENSORS, 2015 IEEE, IEEE, 2015 ; Chen, Chien-Hsing, and Hang-Ru Lin, "Estrus Detection for Dairy Cow Using ZigBee-Based Sensor Networks", International Journal of Information and Electronics Engineering 5.4 (2015); 250 ; etc., all of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • Östrusbestimmung
  • According to one embodiment of the invention, the aforesaid detectors are useful for identifying oestrus conditions. The detectors include, but are not limited to, cameras, single axis accelerometers, or multi-axis accelerometers. These detectors are incorporated in conjunction with the MMU and subunits thereof or are connected as sensors in one or more ears or the neck of dairy animals.
  • These detectors determine and measure the head acceleration of the dairy animals continuously or temporarily. The measurement with the detectors is performed while the animal eats in the stall within an FDR or while the animal is not within an FDR stall, or continuously measures the head acceleration throughout predetermined period without any difference in the location of the milk animal.
  • This embodiment of the invention provides three means for identifying estrous time. The first identification method (A) is provided by measuring the head acceleration of the dairy animal while feeding in the stall within an FDR. The second method (B) uses the head acceleration values measured outside the feeding periods (while the animal is not in an FDR stall). The third method (C) uses the differences in head acceleration values during the no-eating periods (while the animal is not in an FDR stall) and the feeding periods (while the animal is inside a FDR stall) of the same dairy animal.
  • In order to determine if a cow is in oestrus condition, at least one parameter related to the head movements of the cow is measured as a function of time in at least two directions, and a weighted sum of at least one of the parameters is calculated for several times , The parameter (s) is measured in at least two directions, wherein movement in one direction may be linear along an axis or rotation about an axis.
  • The parameter is typically the magnitude of the acceleration (linear or rotating) or kinetic energy, although other parameters such as the momentum or amount of motion may be used.
  • Typically, the motion is measured in at least three directions, with the directions of movement being a linear motion along the Z-axis (vertical), a linear motion along the X-axis (lateral to the cow), and rotation about the Y-axis, the Y-axis is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the head of the cow.
  • The weighting factor for each direction of movement may be a constant or may depend on at least one of time, uniformity of change, and location of the cow at the time of measurement.
  • A non-limiting example of a weighting factor that depends on the location of the cow is the vertical movement of the cow's head. An increase in vertical movement over time may be indicative of an estrus condition; he may also indicate that the cow has started a meal. Therefore, the weighting factor is typically reduced when the cow is within a stall at the time of movement.
  • A non-limiting example of a weighting factor that depends on time but not on location is a rapid increase in motion. A rapid increase in movement typically indicates that the cow is struggling or uncomfortable or in pain rather than in estrus. Therefore, for each direction of movement, the weighting factor for the direction of movement or directions is reduced when there is a large increase in movement over a short time.
  • The amount of movement in one direction can change smoothly or show fluctuations. Fluctuations can occur when a cow changes behavior over one or a few time intervals; for example, and as a non-limiting example, there may be a reduction in movement when a cow is resting, chewing its culled feed, or ceasing to eat; An increase can occur when it gets up from recovery, begins to eat, interacts with another animal, or feels unwell or in pain. Measurement data can be smoothed to remove fluctuations; nonlimiting examples of smoothing methods include random smoothing, random walk smoothing, moving average smoothing, simple exponential smoothing, linear exponential smoothing, and temporal exponential smoothing.
  • A non-limiting example of smoothing weighting involves calculating a difference between smoothed motion data in at least one direction and measured motion data in that direction. If the difference between the smoothed data and the measured data is too large, the weighting factor for the movement in that direction can be reduced.
  • Weights of accelerations, example I
  • One or more accelerometers are attached to the body of the animal, e.g. B. on a collar of the animal. The accelerometer (s) measure both head and body movement while the animal eats in the stall within an FDR.
  • The accelerations are continuously measured and stored. A baseline is determined. At any given time, or alternatively during a predefined time period, the current acceleration is determined with the baseline. Alternatively, the accelerations are defined for a period of time (eg, for a period of two minutes), and the average of that acceleration is compared to the baseline. In one example, the accelerations corresponding to the three Axes are associated, but simultaneously measured separately, z. B. x, y, z axes and their rotation.
  • Example I defines estrus determination when an animal (eg, a dairy cow) is temporarily housed within a FDR stall. Here, by way of example and not limitation, as the cow periodically tilts its head along the Z-axis to receive feed in its stall, Z-axis motions and accelerations thereof gain less weight than X and Y motions and accelerations thereof.
  • Weights of accelerations, Example II
  • Similarly, one or more accelerometers are attached to the body of the animal, e.g. B. at the ear tag of the animal. The accelerometer (s) measure both head and body movement while the animal lingers in the MLA within the FDR.
  • Because dairy animals in the MLA ruminate and rest and eat much less, accelerations along and around Z-axis motions and accelerations thereof gain substantially equal weight compared to both X and Y motions and accelerations thereof.
  • Weights of accelerations, Example III
  • One or more accelerometers are attached to the body of the animal. Potentially be further one or more optical or thermal sensors, for. As cameras, CCDs, video equipment, etc. used to determine animal movements and accelerations thereof. This integrated motion tracking system is configured to measure animal movement using a computer-readable media-based digital means: animal movement while eating, staying in an MLA, etc.
  • A basic line of specific animal behavior is stored and updated. This behavior is characterized by various parameters such as animal identity, time, location, movement, acceleration along one or more axes, daily routines, patterns of daily activity and animal specific parameters (age, weight, health score, previous estrus times, last) Pregnancy and lactation parameters, etc.). It is well within the realm of technology where the baseline is time-resolved (different patterns of movement in the morning versus evening, for example) and resolved on a single-field basis (where the animal behaves differently). It is therefore in the field of technology where each animal is characterized by a specific time-resolved and resolved baseline fingerprint, and some animals have a somewhat smoother baseline and others have a less smooth baseline.
  • Before and during the time of oestrus, movement and acceleration change. The FDR-based oestrus condition determination technology presented here is usefully provided for detecting various changes in animal behavior: e.g. B. Uniform or otherwise non-uniform increase in overall motions and accelerations thereof as compared to the aforementioned baseline, abrupt increase in overall motions and accelerations thereof as compared to the aforementioned baseline, increasing motions and acceleration along a part of the six axes and, at the same time, less changes the movements in other axes in comparison with the aforementioned baseline, short increase in accelerations or longer increase in comparison with the aforementioned basic line, etc.
  • Estrus condition determination method, First Example
  • The detectors determine the head acceleration of a feeding animal during feeding over several periods of time. Each period when the dairy animal is inside an FDR stall is referred to as (Δt i ).
  • The head acceleration of a feeding animal (a x, y, z (t)) is measured for each period (Δt i ). For each time the animal is within an FDR stall, the detectors define an "animal eating event energy value" (E eating (Δt i )). In addition, for each first predetermined time period n, the detectors generate a "total eating energy value" E eating, total (n) by summing up all the "eating event energy values" incurred during the first predetermined time period n, e eating . total ( n ) = Σ i = i b e G i n i e n d e e a t i n G ( Δ t i )
    Figure DE202017007021U1_0006
    (eg one day, one month).
  • For each of a second predetermined time period comprising at least times N of the first predetermined time periods, the detectors generate a baseline eat energy value E eating by averaging all of the total eating energy values E eating, total (n) over the number of predetermined time periods (eg one day, one month). For at least one of the second predetermined periods of time, the detectors determine a "maximum daily eating energy value" (E eating, max = max (E eating, total (n).) These detectors also produce an estrus arm when the "eating energy event value" E eating , total (E). n) is greater than half the sum of the "maximum daily food energy value" and the "baseline food energy value" (E easting, max + E eating ) / 2).
  • Estrus condition determination method, second example
  • The detectors determine and measure the head acceleration of the dairy animal while the animal is not in an FDR stall. Any period when the dairy animal is not within an FDR stall is referred to as (Δt i ).
  • The head acceleration of a non-eating animal (a x, y, z (t)) is measured for each period (Δt i ). For each time the animal is not within an FDR stall, the detectors define an "animal head movement energy value" (E move (Δt i )) for each of the time periods. In addition, for each first predetermined time period n, the detectors generate for each animal a total head motion energy value E move, total (n) by summing up all of the "head motion energy values" produced during the first predetermined time period n, e move . total ( n ) = Σ i = i b e G i n i e n d e m O v e . t O t a l ( Δ t i ) .
    Figure DE202017007021U1_0007
    (eg one day, one month).
  • For each of a second predetermined time period comprising at least times N of the first predetermined time periods, the detectors generate a "baseline head motion energy" E move by averaging all of the total energy values E move, total (n) over the number of predetermined time periods (eg, one Day, one month). For at least one of the second predetermined time periods, the detectors determine a "maximum daily head movement energy value" E move, max = max (E move, total (n)). These detectors also produce an estrous alar arm when the "energy event value" E move, total (n) is greater than half the sum of the "maximum daily head movement energy value" and the "baseline head movement energy value" (E move, max + E move ) / 2.
  • Oestrus condition determination method, third example
  • The detectors determine and measure the head acceleration of the milking animal during a period of time while not eating (while the animal is not in an FDR stall), as well as measuring the head acceleration of the milking animal during the feeding period (while the animal is in an FDR stall ) for the same milk animal.
  • For each first predetermined time period n, the detectors determine a "total no-eating-head movement energy " E noneat (n) as the difference between the total animal head movement energy value E move, total (n), and the total eating event energy value E eat, total (Δt in ), E noneat (n) = E move, total (n) - E eat, total (s) that occurs during the first predetermined time period n (eg one day, one month). For each of a second predetermined time period including at least times N of the first predetermined time periods, the detectors generate a "baseline head motion energy value" E move by averaging all of the total no-eating motion energy values E move, total (n) over the number of predetermined time periods (e.g. Day, one month). For at least one of the second predetermined time periods, the detectors determine a "maximum daily head movement energy value " E move, max = max (E noneat (n)).
  • These detectors also produce an estrous alar arm when the total no-shoot movement energy E noneat (n) is greater than half the sum of the "maximum daily head movement energy value " and the "baseline head movement energy value " (E move, max + E move ) / 2.
  • The FDR presented for this purpose includes a novel barn to which the cow is provided with unmanipulated free access. By the time the cow wants to eat, she approaches a stable freely and autonomously. After that, after the cow has finished feeding, she leaves the stable and so on and so on all day long. According to one embodiment of the invention, the stable comprises for each cow means for detecting on-going feeding, eating habits, cow dung, suitability of the feed, etc., thus providing to the milking system of the FDR feeding and feeding parameters of the cow, the state of health, a continuous detection of Changes in feeding and feeding parameters, in health status and, in predefined cases and parameters thereof, alerting in advance.
  • The FDR presented for this purpose includes a novel barn to which the cow is provided with unmanipulated free access. By the time the cow wants to eat, she approaches a stable freely and autonomously. After that, after the cow has finished feeding, she leaves the stable and so on and so on all day long. According to one embodiment of the invention, the stable comprises for each cow means for detecting on-going feeding, eating habits, cow dung, suitability of the feed, etc., thus providing to the milking system of the FDR feeding and feeding parameters of the cow, the state of health, a continuous detection of Changes in feeding and feeding parameters, in health status and, in predefined cases and parameters thereof, alerting in advance.
  • It is also within the scope of the invention that the TCA be in conjunction with the MMA, providing the CPA & C with improved capabilities. According to one aspect of the invention, four teatcups depart from a common base, which has a length and a width, X-axis and Y-axis, in an approximately vertical manner, wherein the teat cups are connected in their proximal part to the base. In this embodiment, at least one camera is disposed beside, on or in the base and focuses the distal end of the teatcups. According to another aspect of the invention, the camera is maneuverable along the base, e.g. B. via a mutual linear movements. X-axis and Y-axis maneuverability is thereby provided, with Z-axis maneuverability as well as rotation being achievable along at least one axis. According to another aspect of the invention, the teat cup base is maneuverable with respect to the teat and / or with respect to the time-resolved spatial orientation and location of the MMU / cow teat. In yet another aspect of the invention, a camera lens cleaning mechanism is further provided and selected in a non-limiting manner from a water giant, a vapor emitter, physical scrubbing or wiping modules, or a combination thereof.
  • It is also within the scope of the invention, wherein the TCA further includes other modules, some of which may be feedback controlled and operated by the camera. These modules are selected in a non-limiting manner from a group consisting of, among others, teat washing and cleaning modules, water giant eggs, water supply, nozzles and pressure regulators, disinfecting solution supply lines and nozzles thereof, vacuum lines, on / off switches, FDR cultivators, gates and accessories thereof and any combination thereof.
  • It is also within the scope of the invention, the TCA and the system thereof further comprising detectors for analyzing abnormal milk and milk components, milk separators for separating the abnormal milk.
  • It will be up now 36 Reference is made, which schematically illustrates the type IV of the milking device according to yet another embodiment of the invention. This TYPE IV device comprises four (or more or less) milking cups positioned in a horizontal position and a single cleaning cup positioned above in a vertical position. The teat cups are ejected and align themselves to a vertical position in a single mechanical maneuver. 35 illustrates a group of three images of the cleaning cup; hot water ( 351 ) and air ( 352 ) are placed in the vacuum-capable ( 353 ) Cleaning cup injected. 36 discloses an ejection and alignment device of the TYPE IV milking module including, but not limited to, an engine transmission ( 361 ), a cup receptacle ( 362 ), a milking cup ( 363 ), a dual tube - milk and vacuum ( 364 ), an ejection device ( 365 ) and a rack ( 366 ).
  • The 39-41 disclose a folding and retracting device action according to one aspect of the invention. The 41 discloses the separation movement from the teat. The gear carrier retracts the dual tube and the teat cup engages in its receptacle.
  • FDR, Example 1
  • It will be up now 9A Referring to Fig. 1, which schematically illustrates a general overview of an FDR stall yard (MLA) according to one embodiment of the invention. The FDR is laid out as follows: feeding lines and milking stations ( 901 ), Milk Delivery and Washing Unit (902), Dry Cows ( 903 ), Calving area ( 904 ), Main stables ( 905 ), Main street and separation gate ( 906 ), Cow treatment area ( 907 ) and binding spouts ( 908 ). It will be up now 9B Referring schematically to this FDR illustrates, and a cow in the bound in the chute ( 910 ), a cow in the feeding line that eats and is ready to be milked (911), a cow that feeds the feeding milking area through a one-way gate ( 912 ) and a cow leaves the main street of the milking area or separation for treatment ( 913 ).
  • The FDR therefore integrates several interconnected animal habitat areas: One or more areas of life where the dairy cattle, here cows, freely and uninterruptedly do whatever they want without human or external disruption or handling. One or more cultivators may be useful in one or more areas of life to treat the soil of the animals for composting from their faeces. One or more feeding and milking zones are used for free feeding of the animals (cows eat when and what they want) without being disturbed by humans or other animals. The animals are milked in a clean manner at the same time, if and when required, while the feces of the animals are automatically treated by one or more cultivators. In one or more treatment areas, to which the cows have free access, feed and milking are offered to the animals and their stay can be extended. Animal stress is minimized by having the cow in this zone with a member of their group. An optional zone for dry animals where dry cows have free access while maintaining continuous eye contact with other members of their group.
  • FDR, Example 2
  • In accordance with yet another mode of the invention which is incompatible with various details defined in Example 1 above, the feeding and milking modules are configured for individual undisturbed feeding of the cows, e.g. By means of a longitudinal separation of one animal from the other. It is further configured for the separate and personalized feeding of the cow by means of a personalized feed batch in a predefined identified feed trough. It is further configured for online & inline custom feeding control for each of the cows on the module. It is further configured to prevent the cow from fleeing from its required milking. It is further configured to encourage and support animal removal, e.g. It is further configured physically so as not to restrict the head movement of the animal and to serve animals of various species and sizes. The emptying and recycling module is usefully provided for cleaning the MMUs, the milk outlet flow, measurement and control, module cleaning, loading of disposable materials, providing various maintenance and repair facilities. The milking module is configured for teat cleaning and preparation, milking and post-milking care, for the entire udder or quarter milking. It is still configured for quarter mile. It is further configured for the milking meter, e.g. B. batch or continuous weighing during milking. A teat cup management module is configured to use at least one moveable camera. It is further configured for managing the teat cups in a predefined order. It is further configured for various transport and maneuverability devices and implementations. The rail transport module is configured to ascend and otherwise lift the milking device to and from a milking position. It is further configured for removing dismantling of movable units from the rail. The feeding / feeding line is configured to comprise about 30% of the number of cows. This line is configured to be straight, zigzag, curved, continuous or interrupted. The automatic feeding module is configured to ensure that each cow is fed enough food. It is further configured to ensure personalized feeding, which means optimizing feed quality, quantity and suitability for the specific cow. The culture module is usefully provided for autonomous translocation, e.g. In and of life zones and treatment zones. The cultivator is further configured to ensure slow and quiet movement while not intimidating animals. The cultivator is further configured for a feedback robotic movement adapted to bypass fixed objects, sleeping animals, and so on. He is further usefully provided for going through gates of the FDR. The cultivator is further configured for soil composition, e.g. B. using fermenting bacteria and other relevant microorganisms.
  • It will now be on the 27-34 Reference is made disclosing a fourth embodiment of the present invention and showing a transport method of the MMU and subsystems thereof. The MMU is transported here again horizontally along a raised rail by a taxi. In the following embodiment of the invention, the taxi is a drive unit that horizontally slides, actuates, or otherwise transports the milking unit along a defined origin, possibly an origin including multiple stations, without the need to lower or lift the milking units into the cow shed. In accordance with this embodiment of the invention, the taxi pushes, pulls or otherwise actuates the milking unit forwardly toward an upper docking station located on top of the cow barn while the milking unit includes its own vertical drive unit configured to independently itself to lower or raise without being dependent on the taxi. Furthermore, the MMU leaves the dairy animal at the end of the milking process or when the dairy cow opposes the milking process or forms a counterforce to the milking process. In addition, the MMU of this embodiment is continuously or occasionally connected to power supply lines, e.g. B. power supply lines, which are distributed within the elevated rail system. This connection avoids the use of running power cables inside and between the stalls and operational disadvantages associated with power shutdown.
  • 2401
    Vertical drive unit
    2402
    Horizontal drive unit
    2403
    Assembly and milking unit
    2404
    Kuhfütterungseinheit
    2405
    Assembly and milking unit
    2501
    teat cups
    2502
    washing cup
    2503
    shoulder
    2504
    elbow
    2505
    radial joint drive
    2506
    linear joint drive
    2601
    MMU energy supply rail
    2602
    Taxi power supply rail
    2603
    upper coupling station
    2604
    cowsheds
    4401
    Feed and logistics center
    4402
    Kuhbehandlungsbereich
    4403
    Main living area
    4404
    Area for dry cows
    4501
    Taxi rail-changing carousel
    4502
    Main living area
    4503
    Area for dry cows
    4504
    Kuhbehandlungsbereich
  • QUOTES INCLUDE IN THE DESCRIPTION
  • This list of the documents listed by the applicant has been generated automatically and is included solely for the better information of the reader. The list is not part of the German patent or utility model application. The DPMA assumes no liability for any errors or omissions.
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  • Cited non-patent literature
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Claims (44)

  1. A vaulted free range (FRD) where dairy animals have free access to their stall to be fed and milked at the same time, comprising: a. a plurality of s stalls, where s is an integer equal to or greater than one; at least one of said stalls is characterized by a front side and an opposite rear side in which a dairy animal is accommodated, at least temporarily, with the head opposite to the front side; b. a plurality of m major lives (MLA), m is an integer equal to or greater than one; at least one of said MLAs is in connection with at least one of said stalls by means of a plurality of g gates, g is an integer equal to or greater than one; said FDR further comprising c. a substantially horizontally positioned elevated rail system comprising a plurality of e raised rails, e is an integer equal to or greater than one; d. a plurality of n mobile milking units (MMUs), n is an integer equal to or greater than one, each of said MMUs configured to transport on said elevated rail to a dairy animal in its stall and to milk the animal, while it eats.
  2. The FDR of Claim 1 wherein said dairy animals are selected from a group consisting of cows, sheep, buffaloes and goats.
  3. In a dairy farm, a substantially horizontally positioned elevated rail system comprising a plurality of elevated rails on which milking units are transported.
  4. In a dairy farm with at least one stable, a transformation infrastructure that approaches the rear of said stall on which the milking units are movable.
  5. In a dairy farm, at least one unidirectional entrance gate separating a stable area from a main habitat, at least one unidirectional exit gate separating said stall area from a treatment area, and at least one unidirectional entry gate separating said treatment area from said main life into a main life area.
  6. The FDR of Claim 1 wherein at least one of said raised rails is selected from a group consisting of an at least partially linear rail, an at least partially curved rail, at least partially inclined rails, an at least partially vertical rail, and any combination thereof.
  7. The FDR of Claim 4 wherein at least a portion of said plurality of raised rails are interconnected at at least one juncture.
  8. The FRD of Claim 7 wherein said at least a portion of a plurality of interconnected raised rails is disposed in one or more street-and-aisle configurations.
  9. An array of FDRs comprising at least a first FDR according to Claim 1 and at least a second FDR according to Claim 1 wherein said first and second FDRs are interconnected by means of at least one mutually elevated rail system whereby MMUs are transportable from said one FDR to said second FDR and vice versa.
  10. The arrangement of Claim 9 wherein said arrangement comprises a plurality of f FDRs, f is an integer equal to or greater than two; wherein said FDRs are arranged in a form selected from a group consisting of triangular, quadrangular, polygonal, circular, star-shaped shapes and any combination thereof.
  11. The FDR of Claim 1 wherein said stall is characterized by a substantially rectangular shape comprising a back side, said back side being opposite to a front side; and wherein said milk animal is directed through the backside with its head towards said front side.
  12. In an FDR of Claim 1 an MMU comprising at least one member selected from a group consisting of taxi, messenger, extension; said taxi is configured to drive said MMU horizontally along said ER; said messenger is configured for both (i) Downloading said MMU substantially vertically from said elevated rail to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stable, and (ii) substantially vertically uploading said MMU to said taxiing unit; and wherein said extension is configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
  13. An MMU comprising at least one element from a group consisting of taxi, messenger, extension; said taxi is configured to drive said MMU horizontally along said ER; said messenger is configured for both (i) downloading said MMU substantially vertically from said elevated rail to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stable, and (ii) substantially vertically uploading said MMU the said taxi unit; and wherein said extension is configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
  14. The FDR of Claim 1 comprising a docking station disposed at the rearward portion of said stall, said docking station being configured to reversibly interconnect either a messenger and / or an extreme mechanism of said MMU.
  15. An MMU according to Claim 13 wherein said MMU interconnects, at least temporarily, either wireless or wired, a computer-aided milking protocol and an MMU motion control (CAP & C) to control the transport of said MMU.
  16. An MMU according to Claim 13 associated with or associated with a teat cup assembly (TCA), said TCA having a plurality of teat cups, each of said teat cups being configured by size and shape to reversibly accommodate a teat and vacuum assisted milking to allow the said teat.
  17. The MMU of Claim 16 wherein the proximal portions of said teat cups are substantially attached to: (a) MMUs teats time-resolved spatial orientation and location; and (b) teats time-resolved spatial orientation and location.
  18. The MMU according to Claim 16 wherein said TCA comprises a motor-transmission-containing teatcup ejection directing mechanism (TCESM) configured to allow the teatcups to approach the teats before milking and retracting same after milking.
  19. A teat cup assembly (TCA) for milking operation, comprising: a. at least one teat cup, which is horizontally movable in a reciprocating manner, said at least one teat cup further comprising a concave conical member (363) configured to receive a teat of an animal, a dual milk vacuum conduit (364 ) and a connector (362) interconnecting said concave conical member and the dual milk vacuum conduit therebetween; and b. an ejection mechanism (365) for approximating said at least one milking cup to said teat of said animal; said ejection mechanism comprising a rack and pinion mechanism (366) and a motor driving a pinion of said rack and pinion mechanism (361), said at least one teat cup being mechanically connected to a rack of said rack and pinion mechanism.
  20. The MMU according to Claim 16 wherein said TCA is connected to a manipulating milking arm (AM), said milking arm being configured to move said TCA from the rearward position of the animal via its rear legs and under its body to a location adjacent and below the teats of the Moving animal and vice versa.
  21. In an MMU of Claim 13 , a plurality of cm cameras, cm is an integer greater than or equal to one, said cameras are selected for a group consisting of (i) at least one camera connected to a teatcup assembly or a teatcup base thereof, configured to both to focus both said teat cups and teats and thereby determine the 2D or 3D spatial orientation of teat cups in the vicinity of the adjacent teats; (ii) at least one camera configured to focus on the rear legs of said milking animals to thereby determine one or both of the 2D or 3D spatial orientation of the legs and an assessment of the animal health status.
  22. The MMU of Claim 21 wherein at least one camera is selected from a group consisting of a digital or video receiving module, an image sensing sensor, a thermally obtaining sensor, a CCD, a CMOS, a wide angle optical sensor, zooming optical sensors, a thermal sensor optical sensor including a monochromatic sensor or a combination of two or more monochromatic sensors, a magnetic detector, a fluorescence detector, a laser detector, a thermo-optically integrated sensor, a time of flight (TOF), a TOF sensor, a structured Light camera, a structured light sensor and any combination thereof.
  23. The MMU of Claim 21 wherein at least one of said cameras is configured for wired or wireless communication with a computer readable medium configured to process images and thereby actuate said milking actuator from said rearward portion of the animal via its rearward one Legs and under his body to a place adjacent to and under the teats of the animal and vice versa.
  24. The MMU of Claim 23 , further comprising a computer readable magnetic medium configured to calculate, by said image, the 2D or 3D time resolved orientation of the animal's back legs, defining the center at the height of the legs (substantially along the Z major axis ) and the distance of the legs (substantially along the Y major axis).
  25. The MMU of Claim 23 further comprising a computer readable magnetic medium configured by said image to define and alert the oestrus condition in animals.
  26. In an FDR of Claim 1 , a plurality of cm cameras, cm is an integer greater than or equal to one, said cameras are selected for a group consisting of (i) at least one camera connected to a teatcup assembly or a teatcup base thereof, configured to both to focus both said teat cups and teats and thereby determine the 2D or 3D spatial orientation of teat cups in the vicinity of the adjacent teats; (ii) at least one camera configured to focus on the rear legs of said milking animals to thereby determine one or both of the 2D or 3D spatial orientation of the legs and an assessment of the animal health status.
  27. The FDR of Claim 26 wherein at least one camera is selected from a group consisting of a digital or video receiving module, an image sensing sensor, a thermally obtaining sensor, a CCD, a CMOS, a wide angle optical sensor, zooming optical sensors, a thermal sensor optical sensor including a monochromatic sensor or a combination of two or more monochromatic sensors, a magnetic detector, a fluorescence detector, a laser detector, a thermo-optically integrated sensor, a time of flight (TOF), a TOF sensor, a structured Light camera, a structured light sensor and any combination thereof.
  28. The FDR of Claim 27 wherein at least one of said cameras is configured for wired or wireless communication with a computer-readable medium configured to process images and thereby actuate said milking actuator from said rearward portion of the animal via its rear legs and beneath its body to one Place adjacent to and under the teats of the animal and vice versa.
  29. The FDR of Claim 28 , further comprising a computer readable magnetic medium configured to calculate, by said image, the 2D or 3D time resolved orientation of the animal's back legs, defining the center at the height of the legs (substantially along the Z major axis ) and the distance of the legs (substantially along the Y major axis).
  30. The FDR of Claim 26 further comprising a computer readable magnetic medium configured by said image to define and alert the oestrus condition in animals.
  31. In an FDR of Claim 1 , a computer-implemented system for algorithmic portfolios in hierarchical machine learning, comprising a set of planes of non-linear processing units consisting of data entry of back legs with either or both 2D and 3D orientations; a data entry of either or both 2D and 3D orientations of each of the teats; a data output of image processing capabilities that configures the movement of the milking arm via the rear legs of the cow; said system being operable by locating the teat cups under the teats prior to milking and then retrieving the teat cups and retrieving the arm after milking is completed.
  32. The hierarchical learning of Claim 31 wherein said hierarchical learning comprises "hind leg and teat image processing capabilities" of the deep structured learning milking, which provides means for monitoring the health status of the milking animals.
  33. An MMU comprising a TCA, wherein said TCA is configured to milk each quarter of the cow separately.
  34. The FDR of Claim 1 comprising a milk comprising a first separation container into which milk milked by a first animal is delivered, before at least one second cow is milked.
  35. The FDR of Claim 1 comprising a milk comprising a second separation vessel into which milk milked by at least a first quarter (teat) of an animal is delivered before at least a second quarter of said animal is milked.
  36. The FRD of Claim 1 wherein said MMUs are configured to connect to at least one of Dock, communicate or otherwise connect to the recycling station.
  37. The FDR of Claim 36 wherein said recycling station comprises at least one module selected from a group consisting of a milk collection module, a milk chemical and biological analyzing module, a milk separation module, a MMUs discharging module, an MMUs cleaning module, a MMUs recycling module, a MMUs with water and consumables loading module and any combination thereof.
  38. The FDR according to Claim 37 wherein said milk chemical and biological analyzing module comprises an analyzer configured to separately analyze each of said milk milked by each of the quarters of the cows.
  39. The FDR of Claim 37 wherein said recycling station is connectable to a central header either directly or via a pipeline, and wherein said recycling station is further configured to wash said MMU and said pipeline.
  40. The TCA of Claim 19 further comprising a teats-cleaning cup configured horizontally on top of said TCA; said cleaning cup being further connected to conduits containing hot water, air and vacuum.
  41. An MMU comprising a taxi, wherein said taxi is configured to drive said MMU horizontally along said elevated rail; wherein said MMU further comprises a messenger configured for both (i) downloading said MMU substantially vertically from said elevated rail to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stable, and (ii) substantially vertically uploading said MMU to said taxi unit; and further wherein said MMU comprises an extension configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
  42. The MMU of Claim 1 wherein said MMU is configured to both download a milking unit substantially vertically from said elevated track to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stall and to substantially vertically upload same.
  43. An MMU comprising at least one element from a group consisting of taxi, messenger, extension; wherein said taxi is configured to drive said MMU horizontally along said elevated rail; said messenger is configured for both (i) downloading said MMU substantially vertically from said elevated rail to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stable, and (ii) substantially vertically uploading said MMU the said taxi unit; and wherein said extension is configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
  44. An MMU comprising at least one element from a group consisting of taxi, messenger, extension; wherein said taxi is configured to drive a milking unit horizontally along said elevated one; said MMU is configured for both (i) downloading said milking unit substantially vertically from said elevated track to a lower docking station provided within or in communication with the stall; and (ii) substantially vertically uploading said milking unit the said taxi unit; and wherein said extension is configured to reversibly engage the milking assembly toward the teats of the milking animal.
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