Concept: California’s dairy tech startup Pharm Robotics has developed an automated robotic health center for dairy farms called Sureshot that can help farmers with the inoculation process for dairy and beef cows. The automated system can record various information including the time of administration of the pharmaceuticals to the cow, the type of medication, the amount of the medication, and how much the cow weighs then.

Nature of Disruption: The system consists of an RFID and a camera ID reader that scans the cows as they exit the milking barn in the exit lane. When the cows pass through the gates, the RFID system tracks the identification number and medical history of each animal and determines whether the cow needs inoculation. If not, the gates remain open to the animal and allow it to pass through. If a cow requires an inoculation, the gates at the injection site closes and a two-part bumper restraint attached to the exit lane at the injection site presses up against the cow’s body from the side and front to restrict any movement before proceeding with the inoculation. The cow gets scanned by a second RFID to determine the type of inoculation the cow needs. A robotic arm then positions itself to deliver the inoculation in the cow’s neck and is accurately measured leveraging algorithms programmed within the system. Pharmaceuticals originate from a cooling unit placed next to the robotic arm and flow to the end of the arm in precise doses monitored by peristaltic pumps and sensors. Once inoculated, the two-part bumper restraint releases, and the gates open, allowing for the cow to proceed down the exit lane leading to its respective corral. The inoculation can then be automatically recorded in the dairy management software and linked to each individual cow through their RFID tag.

Outlook: At present, managing the inoculation of cows and maintaining the records for the same is a tedious task and it is difficult for the dairy farmers for managing the whole process. Pharm Robotics claims that the Sureshot automated robotic health center helps to automate the inoculation and data management process. This can help to reduce the amount of labor required to administer shots, thereby reducing the costs, while improving herd health and production outcomes in the process.

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