A milking robot is a type of agricultural robot that performs milking of dairy cattle without human labor. For the milking robots system, initial scanning of cows is done to know their body shape, the quantity of milk they give, rate at which each teat gives milk, among other factors. After the initial scanning, food pellets are kept inside the system so that the cow approaches it. Once the cow enters the system, it is scanned for an identification tag. Based on the tag number, the machine identifies the cow and figures out the most recent time, the cow was milked. If the cow wasn’t milked very recently, the robotic arm extends and gently stimulates the cow to let her milk down.
The major factors driving the milking robots market include the low dependence on manual labor and greater time flexibility. Furthermore, once the cattle is properly trained, the cow is more comfortable with a milking robot than with human interaction during milking. Moreover, the robot system also keeps a track of important data such as the electrical conductivity of the milk, individual cow milk production, and cow rumination data. This ensures both, increased milk yield and periodic monitoring of cattle health.
Threats to the milking robots market include the high capital investment associated with it. Farmers have to invest in automation and control devices, robotic equipment, and monitoring and sensing technologies. Therefore, in spite of increased milk production and labor savings, milking robots are comparatively less profitable than conventional milking. However, with advancement in robotic technology, higher labor costs, and improving management skills, the impact of this threat is expected to decrease in the near future.
New opportunities that are estimated to boost the milking robots market include the increasing demand for single-stall automated milking robots. These type of robots possess the capacity to milk around 60-70 cows in a day and are, therefore, suitable for small- to medium-sized dairy farms. They are increasingly adopted due to technological advancements and increased awareness among farmers in different regions of the world.
The milking robots market can be segmented based on offering, system type, herd size, and geography. Based on offering, the market is segmented into hardware, software, and services. Hardware sub segment can be further classified into automation & control devices and sensing & monitoring devices. Moreover, the automation & control devices sub-segment can be further split into robotic arms, control and display units, milk flow meters, milk analyzers, cleaning and detection systems, and others. Similarly, the sensing & monitoring devices sub-segment can be split into sensors, RFID tags and readers, camera systems, and others. The software segment can be further sub-segmented into web-based and cloud-based. Furthermore, the services segment can be further sub-segmented into system integration and consulting services, managed services, connectivity services, supported professional services, and maintenance and support services.
Managed services comprise farm operation services, data services, and analytics services. In terms of system type, the milking robots market can be segmented into single-stall unit, multi-stall unit, and automated milking rotary. Based on herd size, the milking robots can be segregated into less than 100, between 100 and 1000, above 1000. In terms of geography, the milking robots market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Latin America.
Key players operating in the milking robots market include DeLaval Holding AB, GEA Group AG, Lely Holding S.A.R.L., SCR Dairy Inc., S.A. Christensen & Co., Fullwood Ltd, Afimilk Ltd, BouMatic LLC, Hokofarm Group B.V., DairyMaster Ltd, Livestock Improvement Corp Ltd., Vansun Technologies, Afimilk Ltd, Cowchips LLC, Dairymaster Ltd, Icerobotics Ltd., and Pearson International LLC.
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