Methods Of Milking Patents (Class 119/14.02)
  • Patent number: 11019801
    Abstract: A voluntary milking system and method for treating dairy livestock having fore legs and hind legs, wherein the system comprises milking stalls voluntarily accessible to animals that are milked by mobile units configured to travel between the fore and hind legs of the animal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: Afimilk Agricultural Cooperative Ltd.
    Inventors: Niv Pinsky, Oren Drori, Doron Shalem
  • Patent number: 10986806
    Abstract: Milking clusters for a milking installation have four teat cups, each teat cup having a cup housing and a teat cup liner with a top region and a suction region. A connection for a milk tube is arranged at the cup bottom or at the end of the suction region of the teat cup liner. A mouth portion of a sterile air pressure line is arranged in the top region of the teat cup liner, through which pressure line sterile air is introduced at a volumetric flow rate greater than a fluid aspiration volumetric flow rate at the milk tube, such that a sterile air blanket is established in the top region of the teat cup liner. The milking clusters with the cup liner and sterile air blanket prevent milked milk from being contaminated by contaminants and microorganisms from the shed air, extending storage life for untreated raw milk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Inventor: Friedrich Fischer
  • Patent number: 10849304
    Abstract: A space divider (4) of a milking parlor arrangement (1, 1?, 1?, 1??) for at least one milking parlor (3) for milking milk-producing animals (T), wherein the space divider (4) is arranged approximately parallel to a longitudinal axis of the animal (T) to be milked, has an arm device (6) having a milking cluster (5), which can be adjusted from a parking position to a working position and back. The arm device (6) is arranged with the milking cluster (5) in the parking position in the space divider (4) and can be adjusted into the working position laterally to the animal (T) to be milked between the front and rear legs thereof in fully automatic operation or semi-automatic operation. The space divider (4) is designed in such a way that no additional space is required between adjacent animals (T), so that many animals (T) can be milked in a milking parlor arrangement (1, 1?, 1?, 1??) while the smallest possible amount of space is required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: GEA Farm Technologies GmbH
    Inventors: Otto Krone, Derk Hensel, Thomas Mader, Armin Hönscheid, Dieter Hille, Erich Schneider, Marc Trossehl
  • Patent number: 10801504
    Abstract: A multi-pump control system includes a control module, a processing module, a communication interface, and a storage module. The control module is configured to run a zero flow configuration cycle by either ramping up the speed of at least one pump in addition to a subset j of i pumps of a multi-pump system until the communication interface receives a signal change indicative of the at least one pump starting to contribute to the total flow, wherein the processing module is configured to determine an approximated pump characteristic or power consumption or ramping down the speed of at least one pump of a subset j of i pumps of a multi-pump system until the communication interface receives a signal change indicative of the at least one pump stopping to contribute to the total flow, wherein the processing module is configured to determine an approximated pump characteristic and/or power consumption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2020
    Assignee: GRUNDFOS HOLDING A/S
    Inventor: Casper Hillerup Lyhne
  • Patent number: 10801503
    Abstract: A multi-pump control system includes a processing module, a communication interface, a storage module and a control module configured to ramp up a speed of k pumps in addition to a subset j of i pumps of a system comprising N pumps running at a speed ?j providing a total head ?p, wherein N?2, 1?k<N and 1?i<N, and to ramp down the i pumps of the subset j from the speed ?j to a lower speed ?m that is required for a subset m of i+k pumps to provide the total head ?p, and/or configured to ramp down the speed of k pumps of the subset j of i pumps and to ramp up the i-k pumps of a residual subset r from the speed ?j to a higher speed ?r that is required to provide the total head ?p.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2020
    Assignee: GRUNDFOS HOLDING A/S
    Inventor: Casper Hillerup Lyhne
  • Patent number: 10791700
    Abstract: A milking device including at least one milking cup with a teat space and a pulsation space, a pulsator connected by a pulsation line to the pulsation space of the milking cup and provided with a vacuum source, a vacuum line provided with a first controllable valve between the vacuum source and the pulsation line, an aeration line provided with a second controllable valve between the pulsation line and a source of higher pressure, and a pulsator control system for the first and second valves. The pulsator control system includes a flushing mode for opening and holding open the first and second valves during at least a predefined flushing time which is at least as long as the pulsation period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventors: Michiel Adriaan Van Dorp, Erik Henk Christiaan Schutten
  • Patent number: 10794384
    Abstract: A multi-pump control system includes a control module, a processing module, a communication interface, and a storage module. The control module runs n different subsets of i pumps of a multi-pump system including N pumps during n different configuration cycles at a speed ?j, wherein N?2, 2?n?2N?1 and 1?i?N. Each configuration cycle j?{1, . . . , n} is associated with a subset j?{1, . . . , n} and a speed ?j. The communication interface receives signals indicative of operational parameters from each subset j during the associated configuration cycle j. The processing module determines an approximated pump characteristic ?p=f(q, ?j) based on the received signals for each subset j and under an assumption that the i pumps of each subset j share the same part q/i of a reference flow q. The storage module stores the approximated pump characteristic ?p=f(q, ?j) or parameters indicative thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: GRUNDFOS HOLDING A/S
    Inventor: Casper Hillerup Lyhne
  • Patent number: 10721904
    Abstract: A method for sampling milk in a milking machine includes the steps of attaching teat cups to teats of an animal and starting to milk said teats; receiving a first amount of milk in a milk receiver while keeping an outlet valve device open; closing the outlet valve device; continuing the receiving of milk in the milk receiver; agitating the milk in the milk receiver using an agitation device of a milk sampling arrangement; taking a regular milk sample from the milk in an outlet portion of the milk receiver using a milk sample device of the milk sampling arrangement; and opening the outlet valve device so that the milk can be transferred to a milk tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignee: DeLaval Holding AB
    Inventors: Mats Gudmundsson, Thomas Johansson, Fernando Mazeris
  • Patent number: 10638718
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system for treating dairy livestock having fore legs and hind legs, wherein the system comprises a milking parlor ramp, livestock stalls positioned along at least part of the milking parlor ramp, wherein each stall is configured to contain one dairy livestock, at least one vertical upright teat cup holder comprising teat cups and a mobile unit. The mobile unit comprises equipment for treating livestock and a processor, where the mobile unit is configured to travel between the fore legs and hind legs of the dairy livestock on the milking parlor ramp and use the equipment to perform at least one action related to a treatment of the dairy livestock. Also disclosed is that the equipment includes an arm configured to withdraw the teat cups from the vertical upright teat cup holder and connect them to the dairy livestock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: AFIMILK AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE LTD.
    Inventors: Niv Pinsky, Efraim Garti, Doron Shalem, Adar Shachar, Haviv Amnon
  • Patent number: 10588292
    Abstract: A system for milking a group of milking animals, in particular cows, comprises an accommodation space where the animals roam freely, and a plurality of fixed milking stations. The milking stations are each connected to the accommodation space by a walkable connection. Automatic milking systems, in the milking stations, automate milking of animals. The milking systems comprise connection systems for automatic connection of milking cups to the teats of the animal. The connection systems comprise a movable robot device that connects milking cups to the teats of the animal in said milking station. Expulsion means can be activated by a control system in each of the milking stations to give an expulsion stimulus for the animal to leave said milking station. The conditions for expulsion of the animal include the animal fulfilling a predefined expulsion criterion, and all other milking stations are occupied by other animals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventors: Karel Van Den Berg, Paulus Jacobus Maria Van Adrichem, Dik-Jan Wisse
  • Patent number: 10588289
    Abstract: A teat preparation liner comprising an inlet for fluid flow into the liner, an opening, a liner cavity and a spray ring. The liner cavity is positioned adjacent to the opening inside the liner and surrounds a portion of the liner. The spray ring has a hollow interior and a plurality of apertures. The spray ring is coupled to the inlet so that fluid flows from the inlet into the hollow interior of the spray ring and out of the spray ring through the plurality of apertures. The spray ring is positioned inside the liner cavity so that the plurality of apertures face the inside of the liner opening. The spray ring is operable to encircle a dairy animal teat that is positioned inside the liner via the liner opening to simultaneously direct fluid flow from the inlet onto multiple portions of the teat via the apertures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: TECHNOLOGIES HOLDINGS CORP.
    Inventors: Robert J. Godfrey, Eugene P. Frakes
  • Patent number: 10514316
    Abstract: A diagnostic apparatus for testing a milking point of a milking machine includes sensors for measuring fluid-transport related parameters, including various pressure levels and/or flow values relating to a set of teatcups includes a controllable valve and a set of test tubes. Each test tube is configured to be attached to one teatcup, where the controllable valve selectively arranges a particular one of the test tubes for measurement of at least one parameter via one of the sensors in response to a control signal. The measurements are performed while all the teatcups are simultaneously attached to the test tubes and an external vacuum pressure is applied either on a milk-line side of the controllable valve or on a side opposite to the milk-line side relative to the controllable valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: DeLaval Holding AB
    Inventor: Joergen Enickl
  • Patent number: 10499609
    Abstract: A system includes a robotic arm, a laser, and a processor. The processor is configured to determine whether a first teat of a diary livestock is found in a first scan of the dairy livestock by the laser, and if so, command the robotic arm to move to a location corresponding to the location of the first teat. The processor is further configured to increment a counter associated with the first teat and then determine whether the counter equals a predetermined number. If the counter equals the predetermined number, the processor commands the robotic arm to attach a teat cup to the first teat. If the counter does not equal the predetermined number, the processor determines whether the first teat is found in a second scan by the laser. If the first teat is found in the second scan, the processor commands the robotic arm to attach the teat cup to the first teat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Mark A. Foresman, Marijn Van Anart, Peter Willem van der Sluis
  • Patent number: 10463015
    Abstract: A system comprising a teat preparation cup coupled to a vacuum pump. A first pressure sensor measures the vacuum level of the vacuum pump. A second pressure sensor measures vacuum level inside the preparation cup. The system further comprises a controller comprising an interface, a memory, and a processor. The processor determines if the vacuum pump has sufficient vacuum level and communicates instructions to induce a partial vacuum in the teat preparation cup. The processor determines if the teat preparation cup has a vacuum level greater than a vacuum threshold value and when this condition is achieved, communicates instructions to initiate a teat preparation cycle comprising allowing fluid flowing from a fluid source container through the teat preparation cup into a fluid disposal container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventor: Peter M. Linlor
  • Patent number: 10349613
    Abstract: A system includes a robotic arm, a laser, and a processor. The processor is configured to command the robotic arm to move to a first location corresponding to an expected teat position of a first teat. The processor is further configured to determine whether the first teat is found in a first scan by the laser, and if so, command the robotic arm to move to a second location corresponding to the location in the scan. The processor is further configured to determine whether the first teat is found in a second scan by the laser, and if so, determine whether the first teat is within a predetermined distance from a current location of the robotic arm. If the first teat is within the predetermined distance from the current location of the robotic arm, the processor commands the robotic arm to attach a teat cup to the first teat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Mark A. Foresman, Marijn Van Anart
  • Patent number: 10349615
    Abstract: A system includes a robotic arm, a laser, and a processor. The processor is configured to command the robotic arm to move to a location of an expected teat position of a dairy livestock and to command the laser to perform two scans of the dairy livestock. The processor is further configured to determine whether a first teat is found in both of the scans, and if so, determine whether locations of the first teat in the two scans are within a predetermined distance of each other. The processor is further configured to, in response to determining that locations of the first teat in the two scans are within the predetermined distance of each other, command the robotic arm to move to a location corresponding to the location of the first teat and to command the robotic arm to attach a teat cup to the first teat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Mark A. Foresman, Bradley J. Prevost
  • Patent number: 10285377
    Abstract: A device for automatically milking an animal in an animal space is provided with a robot arm for automatically performing an action on a teat of the animal, a teat sensor, and an animal position sensor for determining the animal position in the animal space. The animal position sensor is movable in a longitudinal direction of the animal space. The animal position sensor is mounted so as to be movable or shiftable in a longitudinal direction of the animal space. This has the advantage that the range of the sensor becomes considerably larger while the sensor can be the same as in a known device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventor: Michiel Adriaan Van Dorp
  • Patent number: 10251331
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide a method, computer program product, and a computer system for automated deployment of autonomous devices performing localized environment altering actions. A set of weather conditions for a region is received. Based on the weather conditions predicting the weather in the region is likely to have a negative effect on at least one living organism in the region. Then dispatching, one or more autonomous devices to the region, wherein the one or more autonomous devices comprise a set of sensors and at least one temperature altering element. The autonomous devices is directed to a first location of the first living organism, based, at least in part on a set of data received from the set of sensors. The autonomous devices is directed to alleviate at least a portion of the negative effect of the temperature to the first living organism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Michael S. Gordon, Clifford A. Pickover, Maja Vukovic
  • Patent number: 10194633
    Abstract: A control arrangement for controlling movement of animals, with at least two smart gate arrangements and a same number of enclosed transit areas, wherein smart gate arrangement includes an entrance through which animals can enter, an animal identifier identifies each animal entering the smart gate arrangement, and three separate exits, through which each animal can be selectively guided to exit the smart gate arrangement after having been identified, and wherein each transit area is provided with a first one of the exits of a first one of the smart gate arrangements and an entrance of a neighboring second one of the smart gate arrangements with an unobstructed pathway therebetween contained within the transit area, the plurality of enclosed transit areas being interconnected via the smart gate arrangements such that an animal can be guided through the at least two smart gate arrangements via the transit areas in a circulating manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventors: Martin Palmqvist, Ron Mulder
  • Patent number: 9931449
    Abstract: An electrical breast pump may include a permanently unobstructed continuous passageway across the diaphragm and a rolling diaphragm that is movable between a vent orientation and a vacuum orientation, or a vent piston configured to actuate a closure between a vent orientation and a vacuum orientation so that a pressure chamber is selectively in direct communication with atmospheric pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: Ameda, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremy Patrick Evans, Terry Chung, Jordan Linn, David Shao Ling, Joshua Stoia
  • Patent number: 9918454
    Abstract: A method and device are provided for generating an attention indication for a dairy animal that is kept in an environment with a freely accessible robotic milking system, including measuring a plurality of visit intervals, milking intervals, respectively of said dairy animal, determining a value of a statistical parameter regarding the measured plurality of intervals from the measured intervals, generating the attention indication, in particular a mastitis alarm signal, if the value exceeds a predetermined threshold value. Valuable information can be derived from the spread of, or change in, the values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventor: Patrick Philip Jacob Van Der Tol
  • Patent number: 9861069
    Abstract: A claw (C) for a milking machine includes an enclosure having an upper part (1) and a lower part (2) and enclosing an inner space (3) for a milk flow during a milking operation. The lower part includes a bottom surface (4) facing the inner space. An outlet nipple (12), connected to a long milk conduit (13), extends outwardly from the upper part. A suction tube (20) connects the inner space to the outlet nipple, and includes a lower tube section close to the bottom surface. Three support legs extend from the lower tube section and abut the bottom surface, thereby forming a gap between the lower tube section and the bottom surface. Each support leg has an end point, which end points are located in a common lower plane. The common lower plane is inclined to the center axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventors: Carlos La Torre, Anna Andersson
  • Patent number: 9854779
    Abstract: Method of managing dairy animals in a free housing including a voluntary automatic milking system, and including determining TLM as the time since the last milking of an animal, determining AVMF as an average daily voluntary milking frequency for the animal, setting a desired milking interval DMI for the animal, marking the animal for manual collection if TLM and/or DMI fulfill a collecting criterion, making a list of marked animals, collecting and milking the marked animals, wherein the collecting criterion is fulfilled if TLM is above a first interval threshold, or if TLM is at least equal to the value of a mathematical function applied to the DMI, or if AVMF is below a frequency threshold, and TLM is above a second, shorter interval threshold MRI. Also a milking arrangement is disclosed with a milking robot having a control device arranged to perform the method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventors: Age Hempenius, Sjors Meijers
  • Patent number: 9854780
    Abstract: The invention provides a system for connecting a teat cup to a teat, and a teat cup of this type. A teat cup of this type includes an optical sensor which looks from the inside outwards through the opening of the teat cup. An image of, for example, a teat can thus be produced, and said image can be used very simply to assist a robot arm in guiding the teat cup to the teat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventor: Karel Van Den Berg
  • Patent number: 9848575
    Abstract: A human operated control device for assisting a plurality of milking robots includes a controller adapted for controlling communication with a plurality of milking robots operated substantially simultaneously, graphical user interface (GUI) adapted for displaying information received from at least one milking robot and for receiving input from a human supervisor for operating the at least one milking robot based on the displayed information, and a processor adapted to convert the input received from the human supervisor into a command for operating the at least one milking robot from which the information was received. A milking robot for operating milking equipment is adapted to operate in one of an automated mode of operation and a human assisted mode of operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Mirobot Ltd.
    Inventor: Tal Bareket
  • Patent number: 9686958
    Abstract: The present invention relates to preparing dairy animal teats for being milked, and more particularly to teat preparation, rinsing, and milking that all take place in a milking machine teat cup liner. Such a method includes: applying a teat sanitizer to the teat; injecting air into the liner to force the teat sanitizer toward a waste milk line connected to the liner; pulsating the liner at a first pulsation rate; drawing a rinsing milk from the teat; directing the teat sanitizer, the air, and the rinsing fluid to the waste milk line; pulsating the liner at a second pulsation rate to draw additional milk from the teat; and directing the additional milk to a good milk line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: GEA Farm Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Duane F. Sellner, Kevin L. Torgerson
  • Patent number: 9675042
    Abstract: A system comprises a memory and a processor. The memory stores information about a milking stall where a dairy livestock is located at a first time, and a coordinate location of the dairy livestock at a second time. The processor is communicatively coupled to the memory and determines if the coordinate location of the dairy livestock at the second time is different than the milking stall where the dairy livestock is located at the first time. If the coordinate location where the dairy livestock is located at the second time is not the milking stall, the processor generates an error flag associated with the dairy livestock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Parimal G. Rajkondawar, Roger K. Erdman, David A. Johnson, William S. Nelson, Paul D. Thompson, Gary C. Steingraber
  • Patent number: 9510553
    Abstract: A combined teat position and breeding rating determining arrangement for a milking system having a milking stall, a movable robot arm for automatically attaching teat cups to the teats of the milking animal, and a control device for controlling the movement of the robot arm based on determined positions of the teats of the milking animal. The arrangement includes a three-dimensional camera directed towards the udder of the milking animal that repeatedly records three-dimensional images of the udder, and a processing unit that repeatedly detects the udder or teats of the milking animal, determines their positions based on the recorded three-dimensional images, automatically determines the shapes of the udder or teats based on the repeatedly recorded three-dimensional images, and automatically calculates a breeding rating based on the determined shapes of the udder or teats of the milking animal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventors: Dorota Anglart, Mikael Kallman, Sten Mellberg
  • Patent number: 9497926
    Abstract: A system and method for treating livestock may include a ramp for containing dairy livestock and one or more mobile units configured to travel on the ramp, below the dairy livestock, and perform at least one action related to a treatment of the livestock. A mobile unit may be adapted to travel to a predefined location within a stall, and attach a milking equipment unit to a cow in the stall. A plurality of mobile units and a central management unit may be configured to dynamically cause at least some of the plurality of mobile units to each perform a portion of a treatment or task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: Afimilk Agricultural Cooperative Ltd.
    Inventors: Niv Pinsky, Efraim Garti, Itamar Cohen
  • Patent number: 9468190
    Abstract: There is provided a distributor device (22) for distributing treatment fluid to the teat cups of a milking cluster. The distributor device has at least one distributer inlet (18) for treatment fluid, at least one distributor outlet (20) for connection to a teat cup, and a safety valve The safety valve is selectively operable to permit flow between the at least one inlet (18) and the at least one outlet (20) and, in a rest position, to shut off flow between the at least one inlet and the at least one outlet and vent the at least one inlet to atmosphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: AN UDDER IP COMPANY LTD.
    Inventor: James Richard John Duke
  • Patent number: 9439389
    Abstract: A system comprises a memory and a processor. The memory stores information about a milking stall where a dairy livestock is located at a first time, and a coordinate location of the dairy livestock at a second time. The processor is communicatively coupled to the memory and determines if the coordinate location of the dairy livestock at the second time is different than the milking stall where the dairy livestock is located at the first time. If the coordinate location where the dairy livestock is located at the second time is not the milking stall, the processor generates an error flag associated with the dairy livestock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Parimal G. Rajkondawar, Roger K. Erdman, David A. Johnson, William S. Nelson, Paul D Thompson, Gary C. Steingraber
  • Patent number: 9420756
    Abstract: The present invention relates to modular apparatuses for manipulation of animals and to methods of manipulating animals with the modular apparatuses of the invention. A modular apparatus according to one aspect of the present invention comprises: (a) a main support fixed to a stationary point, (b) a number of arms, each of said arms comprising a proximal end and a distal end, each changeable arm having a longitudinal axis extending between the proximal and distal ends, wherein said proximal end is pivotally mounted to the main support for rotation thereof about a first pivot axis substantially orthogonal to the longitudinal axis, and (c) one or more end of arm changeable tools, wherein said one or more end of arm changeable tools are pivotally coupled to the distal ends of each arm for rotation thereof about a second pivot axis, wherein the second pivot axis is substantially parallel to the first pivot axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: DAIRY CHEQ, INC.
    Inventors: Aaron D. Carroll, Kristopher C. Hall, Benjamin D. Nibali
  • Patent number: 9339003
    Abstract: A method, computer program, and arrangement for controlling milking by a milking device, wherein probability values are associated with different milking parameter settings capable of being used for the milking of a milk producing animal, a milking parameter setting is drawn from among the different milking parameter settings based on the probability values for the different milking parameter settings, a milking of the milk producing animal is controlled using the drawn milking parameter setting, a milk flow is sensed from the milk producing animal during the milking, the probability values for the different milking parameter settings are updated based on the sensed milk flow, a further milking parameter setting among the different milking parameter settings is drawn based on the updated probability values for the different milking parameter settings, and the further milking parameter setting is used to control a following milking of the milk producing animal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventor: Peter Bahlenberg
  • Patent number: 9326481
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for milking animals wherein a negative pressure is periodically built up in a teat cup gap in an evacuation phase (a), maintained over a predetermined suction phase (b), and relieved in a ventilation phase (c), and a ventilation is maintained over a predetermined rest phase (d). The ratio between the suction phase (b) and the rest phase (d) changes at least once during the milking operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: GEA Farm Technologies GmbH
    Inventor: Bernhard Schulze Wartenhorst
  • Patent number: 9313997
    Abstract: A method of milking an animal comprises determining the identity of the animal and discharging the milk obtained by milking the identified animal to a storage container. The identity of the animal is determined after connecting a teat cup to a teat of the animal or after confining the animal in a milking place and before discharging the milk to the storage container. An installation for milking an animal is provided with a determination device for determining the identity of the animal, a transport arrangement for transporting milk to a storage container for storing the milk and with a control unit for controlling the determination device and the transport arrangements. The control unit is programmed for additionally determining the identity of the animal after connecting a teat cup to a teat of the animal or after confining the animal in a milking place and before discharging the milk to the storage container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: LELY ENTERPRISES AG
    Inventors: Karel Van Den Berg, Renatus Ignatius Josephus Fransen
  • Patent number: 9313998
    Abstract: A method, comprises receiving a flow of milk at an inlet of a manifold. The inlet comprises a first end coupled to a hose that receives a flow of milk from a teat cup and a second end terminating in a chamber of the manifold. The manifold comprises one or more other inlets and a plurality of outlets. The plurality of outlets includes one or more milk collector outlets and one or more drain outlets. The method proceeds by causing the flow of milk to be directed to a corresponding milk collector outlet by causing a shut-off valve corresponding to the inlet to open, and by causing a drain valve corresponding to the inlet to close. The method concludes by causing the flow of milk to be directed to a corresponding drain outlet by causing the shut-off valve corresponding to the inlet to close, and by causing the drain valve corresponding to the inlet to open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Henk Hofman, Peter Willem van der Sluis, Ype Groensma
  • Patent number: 9199017
    Abstract: Breastpumps and methods for use in extracting breastmilk, which can be used to generate, among other things, both a letdown or stimulation phase and a milk expression phase, are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: Medela Holding AG
    Inventor: Andy Greter
  • Patent number: 9202193
    Abstract: An early alert system and a related method for livestock disease detection are disclosed. In one embodiment of the invention, an activity measurement zone (AMZ) is defined near an incentive device (e.g. food or water dispensing system) with an RFID tag reader, and an animal's entrance into or out of the AMZ is tracked and counted with an RFID tag attached to the animal. If the animals' activity relative to the AMZ drops to an alarmingly low level (e.g. dropping below an alert trigger point) over a period of time, then a user of the alert system is informed of a potential health problem with the animal and may also be encouraged to inspect the animal in person for further determination of its current health and potential medical issues.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: Hana Micron America, Inc.
    Inventor: Sung Bok Kwak
  • Patent number: 9162016
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a breastpump that can be operated to generate milk expression sequences or curves with some irregularity or randomness in the course of a session.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignee: Medela Holding AG
    Inventor: Donna T. Geddes
  • Patent number: 9095114
    Abstract: The invention provides a method and device for generating an attention indication for a dairy animal that is kept in an environment with a freely accessible robotic milking system, including measuring a plurality of visit intervals, milking intervals, respectively of said dairy animal, determining a value of a statistical parameter regarding the measured plurality of intervals from the measured intervals, generating the attention indication, in particular a mastitis alarm signal, if the value exceeds a predetermined threshold value. Precious information can be derived from the spread of or change in the values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventor: Patrick Philip Jacob Van Der Tol
  • Patent number: 9032907
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for and method of milking dairy animals, in particular cows. The device and method have been improved in order to enhance the efficiency of use. In one embodiment, for the milking, teat cups are connected by means of a robot arm to respective teats of the dairy animal. This makes it possible to start the milking of the teats of the dairy animal. A milk flow from the respective teat can be measured. The milking can be ended by means of a control unit in dependence on a comparison value which is calculated on the basis of a milking parameter representative of a milk flow from the respective teat and in dependence on a deactivation threshold. According to the invention, the milking of the last teat is ended in dependence on a last-teat period to be calculated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventors: Jan Willem Schrader, Pieter Gerlof De Groot
  • Patent number: 9027509
    Abstract: An apparatus for milking an animal and provides a milking parlor includes first and second robotic manipulation devices and a plurality of milking stalls provided on a platform moveable relative to the robotic manipulation devices. The robotic manipulation devices are positioned so that each of the robotic manipulation devices is able to simultaneously service two neighboring milking stalls on the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Delaval Holding AB
    Inventor: Mats Nilsson
  • Publication number: 20150114298
    Abstract: A teatcup liner, for use in a method of providing enhanced teat massage during a milking operation, includes a cross-sectional shape defining plural corner portions and plural side portions with a first side portion being a weak side and each remaining side portion being a strong side; with the weak side having a greater flexibility than each strong side such that during a collapse phase, the collapse of the weak side occurring first and being greater than the collapse of each strong side creates an asymmetric pressure distribution with a greater pressurized area resulting in a prolonged contact surface against the teat end across a first surface region of the cross-sectional shape opposite the weak side as compared to a remainder of the cross-sectional shape, the increased pressurized area across the first surface region providing an enhanced teat massage during the collapse phase.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 2013
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Applicant: DeLaval International AB
    Inventor: Nils ALVEBY
  • Publication number: 20150114299
    Abstract: A method comprises receiving a displacement signal generated by a sensor, the displacement signal generated by the sensor in response to detecting movement of a piston from a retracted position in a cylinder toward an extended position in the cylinder. The method further comprises generating, in response to receiving the displacement signal, a valve control signal to be communicated to a valve located on a vacuum line connecting a vacuum source to a vacuum port of the cylinder. The valve control signal causes the valve to move from a first position in which a vacuum pressure is applied to the cylinder via the vacuum port to a second position in which atmospheric pressure is applied to the cylinder via the vacuum port.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 5, 2015
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Inventors: Ejvind D. Hansen, Joergen Frederiksen
  • Publication number: 20150107518
    Abstract: A combined teat position and breeding rating determining arrangement for a milking system having a milking stall, a movable robot arm for automatically attaching teat cups to the teats of the milking animal, and a control device for controlling the movement of the robot arm based on determined positions of the teats of the milking animal. The arrangement includes a three-dimensional camera directed towards the udder of the milking animal that repeatedly records three-dimensional images of the udder, and a processing unit that repeatedly detects the udder or teats of the milking animal, determines their positions based on the recorded three-dimensional images, automatically determines the shapes of the udder or teats based on the repeatedly recorded three-dimensional images, and automatically calculates a breeding rating based on the determined shapes of the udder or teats of the milking animal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: April 23, 2015
    Applicant: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventors: Dorota Anglart, Mikael Kallman, Sten Mellberg
  • Patent number: 8991334
    Abstract: An arrangement in a rotary milking system includes a rotating platform, an entry thereto and an exit therefrom. A selection gate arrangement at the exit of the rotating platform selectively guides animals, which have been milked in the rotary milking system and leave the rotating platform through the exit, back to the entry of the rotating platform or to a waiting area. A control device is provided for (i) determining whether an animal, which has been milked and leaves the rotating platform through the exit, has at least one udder compartment that was incompletely milked the last time the animal was milked, and (ii) controlling the selection gate arrangement to guide the animal back to the entry of the rotating platform or to the waiting area provided that the animal has at least one udder compartment that was incompletely milked the last time the animal was milked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Delaval Holding AB
    Inventor: Mats Nilsson
  • Publication number: 20150068458
    Abstract: In order to avoid negative changes in the teat ends of a cow, in particular to avoid hyperkeratoses, the invention proposes a method for operating a milking system in which at least one of the parameters from total pressure per cycle, minimum total pressure per cycle or the ratio of total suction to total pressure is determined for at least one animal of a herd during at least one part of a milking process, and is compared with at least one reference value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2013
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Inventors: Franz Uhlenbruck, Martin Spohr
  • Publication number: 20150047676
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for cleaning milking stalls on a platform of a rotary parlour. The rotary parlour includes a robotic manipulation device configured to perform a primary task; a holding device configured to hold the end portion of the hose member in a predetermined parking position, and a control unit. When it is time to clean a milking stall on the platform, the control unit activates the robotic manipulation device such that, instead of performing a primary task, the robotic manipulation device performs an additional task in which the robotic manipulation device grips the end portion of a hose member and moves the end portion from a parking position to a number of cleaning positions from which liquid jets are sprayed from the outlet opening of the end portion against predetermined surfaces to be cleaned in the milking stall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 8, 2013
    Publication date: February 19, 2015
    Applicant: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventor: Mats Nilsson
  • Publication number: 20150040830
    Abstract: Method of mechanically milking a lactating animal, such as a cow, a goat and a sheep, comprising: providing an animal having at least one teat (110), said teat comprising an elongate shaft (112) and a teat end (114) at an end of said shaft, said teat end comprising a teat canal (116) having an external orifice (118); milking the teat (110) by repeatedly alternatingly increasing and decreasing a diameter (D) of at least a longitudinal portion of its shaft (112), while maintaining a substantially axi-symmetric shape of said portion of the shaft, and while continuously applying a milking vacuum to the teat end (114) so as to extract milk from the external orifice (118) of the teat canal (116). Also disclosed is a teat cup liner for practicing the disclosed method.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: February 12, 2015
    Inventors: Johannes Leendert van Leeuwen, Pieter Hendrik Hogewerf, Albertus Hendrik Ipema, Cornelis Johannes Aloysius Marie de Koning, Josephus Gerardus Maria van den Boogaart, Marinus Cornelis van Turnhout
  • Patent number: 8950357
    Abstract: In certain embodiments, a method for milking stall assignment includes storing first location information associated with a dairy livestock, the first location information comprising a coordinate location of the dairy livestock within a milking parlor at a first time. The method further includes comparing the stored first location information associated with the dairy livestock with an area associated with each of a plurality of milking stalls of the milking parlor to identify a milking stall in which the dairy cow is located at the first time and assigning the dairy livestock to the milking stall in which the dairy cow is located at the first time such that data associated with milking of the dairy livestock may be associated with the dairy cow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Parimal G. Rajkondawar, Roger K. Erdman, David A. Johnson, William S. Nelson, Paul D. Thompson, Gary C. Steingraber