Robotic milking machines, mainly function by using sensors. These sensors can test for pressure, flow rate, temperature, colour and electrical conductivity. All of these parts are important to test for as they help the robot work more efficiently and keep the cows comfortable. So they will use both color, temperature and pressure to detect where the cow’s teats are, how many teats are available and they use pressure to make sure that the cups are attached properly. Cows need an electronic tag, so the robot can scan this tag and know if the cow has already been milked that day, if they have had antibiotics recently. The robot can check the color of the milk, checking for blood stains or yellowing, which might mean the cow is sick. The robot will not pump this milk into the tanks for milk to sell.
Its a very complex system and also very, very cool. The next step is to introduce cow directed milking, so the cows can send themselves to be milked when they want, especially at times of the year, when their milk yield is higher.