Milking Station Arrangements; E.g., Parlors Patents (Class 119/14.03)
  • Patent number: 10980213
    Abstract: An automatic milking installation controlled by a system including: a graphical user interface enabling user interaction with the automatic milking installation via at least one display view, an imaging unit recording image data representing at least one portion of a dairy animal, the imaging unit having a transparent cover surface configured to protect an optics section of the imaging unit and through which transparent cover surface the image data are recorded, and a control unit receiving the recorded image data, and based thereon, producing a control signal for controlling functions of the automatic milking installation. The control unit further processes the recorded image data to determine a parameter indicating an amount of dirt on the transparent cover surface, and generates graphics data for presentation to the user via the graphical user interface, which includes at least one graphical element reflecting the amount of dirt on the transparent cover surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: DeLaval Holding AB
    Inventors: Jeffery Gallagher, Joel Carrigg, Scott Pawlowicz, Peter Manneke
  • Patent number: 10943419
    Abstract: A walk-though gate (WTG) is presented. The WTG includes a WTG structure including a first wall and a second wall, the first and second walls defining a walk though pass way between an entrance and exit, at least one sensor located at the entrance and the exit of a cavity defined by the walk though pass way, at least one first antenna facing toward an inside region of the WTG structure, at least one second antenna facing away from the inside region of the WTG structure, an RFID reader connected to the at least one first and second antennas, and a judgement module to judge if an RFID tag is located inside or outside the walk though gate structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Inventors: Mohammad Khojastepour, Mustafa Arslan, Sampath Rangarajan
  • Patent number: 10905096
    Abstract: A milking parlor for milking dairy animals, having a pillar, a gate pillar provided with a pivoting entrance gate and a pivoting exit gate, and a bridge located on the pillar and the gate pillar; the milking parlor further includes a driving assembly that is located within the bridge and is coupled to the entrance gate and the exit gate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2021
    Assignee: GEA Farm Technologies GmbH
    Inventor: Thomas Mader
  • Patent number: 10866598
    Abstract: A poultry house sprinkler system comprises a temperature sensor for obtaining a temperature value based on a temperature of a poultry house, a controller in communication with the temperature sensor, an input/output module in communication with the controller, a valve in communication with the input/output module and connected to the fluid source for receiving a fluid, and at least one sprinkler nozzle connected to the valve for receiving the fluid from the valve and distributing the fluid in the poultry house when the valve is in an open position. The controller is configured to receive the temperature value from the temperature sensor, compare the temperature value to a threshold value, and instruct the input/out module to set the valve in the open position when the temperature value is above the threshold value, maintain the valve in the open position for a cooling interval duration, and subsequently set the valve in a closed position at the end of the cooling interval duration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2020
    Assignee: WEEDEN ENVIRONMENTS INC.
    Inventor: Kevin S. Weeden
  • Patent number: 10531634
    Abstract: An animal hoof cleaning system that includes an automatic milking station, an automatic spraying device configured to clean at least one hoof of an animal housed in the automatic milking station by spraying a fluid towards the at least one hoof, a control unit that controls the operation of the automatic spraying device, and detecting means that detects a milking state wherein all the teats of the animal are enclosed in respective teat cups, where the control unit is configured to control the operation of the automatic spraying device on basis of information from the detecting means such that the automatic spraying device sprays on the hoof of the animal only when the detecting means detects the milking state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2020
    Assignee: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventor: Helmut Obermüller
  • Patent number: 10506793
    Abstract: A feeding system is provided to permit sequential entry to animals, one at a time, into a feeding station that weighs the animal, and then provides or prevents access to feed based on body weight or other criteria. It exits each animal if no feed is to be provided, or after feeding for a specified period of time. The system accommodates animals housed in groups, and allows individual animals to be fed precisely with minimal labour input. Feed consumption by individual animals is limited by the amount of time they remain in the feeding area of the station and the amount of feed provided to them. The system provides for the ongoing collection of data about the animals growth and controls and monitors feed intake and body weight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: PRECISIONZX INC.
    Inventors: Martin Jacob Zuidhof, Mark Vernon Fedorak, Christopher Charles Kirchen, Edmond Hok Ming Lou, Christopher Anton Ouellette, Irene Isabel Wenger
  • Patent number: 10349614
    Abstract: A system includes a robotic arm, memory, and a processor. The processor is configured to access first and second success counters stored in the memory. The first success counter is associated with a first attach algorithm and the second success counter is associated with a second attach algorithm. The processor is further configured to determine whether the first success counter is greater than the second success counter. The processor is further configured to execute the first attach algorithm if the first success counter is greater than the second success counter, and to execute the second attach algorithm if the first success counter is not greater than the second success counter. The processor is further configured to increment the first success counter if the first attach algorithm is successful, and to increment the second success counter if the second attach algorithm is successful.
    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: 10231429
    Abstract: A barn for housing dairy cows includes a feeding and milking area, and a pasture area. The feeding and milking area comprises a plurality of feeding stations, each feeding station including: a manger configured to permit a cow to obtain dry feed; a waterer configured to permit the cow to obtain drinking water; and a head lock configured to releasably secure the cow in the feeding station while the cow is being milked. The pasture area is configured to permit a plurality of cows to lay down. The pasture area includes a raised bed composed of a bedding material and having a predetermined slope selected to facilitate removal of excess liquid from the pasture area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Inventor: Donald C Russell
  • Patent number: 10154645
    Abstract: A system includes a robotic arm, an imaging device coupled to the robotic arm, a board coupled to the robotic arm, and a processor. The imaging device captures imaging data of a rearview of a dairy livestock through a field of view of the imaging device. The board is able to pivot from a down position to an up position and has an aperture through which the imaging device can pass through when the board lowers from the up position to the down position. The processor is coupled to both the imaging device and the board and is configured to identify a tail of the dairy livestock within the imaging data captured by the imaging device and send one or more instructions to raise the board from the down position to the up position, thereby moving the tail out of the field of view of the imaging device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Mark A. Foresman, Peter Willem van der Sluis, Robert J. Godfrey
  • Patent number: 10073468
    Abstract: A sprinkler controller in a poultry house having a processor, a data storage device operatively connected to the processor, the data storage device having instructions for programming the processor, and an input/output module operatively connected to the processor. The input/output module is configured to communicate with at least one valve for controlling a flow of fluid between a fluid source and at least one sprinkler nozzle. The at least one valve has an open position permitting the flow of fluid, and a closed position inhibiting the flow of fluid, and the position of the valve being determined by the processor. The processor is programmed to set the valve in the open position at a start of an activity promotion interval, and to set the valve in the closed position at the end of the activity promotion interval. The duration of the activity promotion interval is selected such that a sufficient amount of fluid is dispersed through the sprinkler nozzle to promote physical activity in the poultry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: WEEDEN ENVIRONMENTS INC.
    Inventor: Kevin S. Weeden
  • Patent number: 9974280
    Abstract: An animal feeding vehicle includes a movement control system, a GPS receiver for generating a first set of parameters including location information, a proximity sensor for generating a second set of parameters including spatial information, a position sensor for generating a third set of parameters including motion information, a feeding system including a feeding control system for feeding animals based on a fourth set of parameters. A control unit receives the first, second, third, and fourth sets of parameters, and defines a first mode in which the user controls the movement control system and the feeding control system, and in which the control unit records data representing the first, second, third, and fourth sets of parameters; and a second mode in which the control unit controls the movement control system and the feeding system by comparing recorded data with the first, second, third, and fourth sets of parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: Dansk Mink Papir A/S
    Inventors: Henrik Palsgaard, Johnny Mollerup Larsen, Rudi Pedersen
  • Patent number: 9826709
    Abstract: An automatic teat treatment method and apparatus uses a control system and an associated robot apparatus with an arm that carries a treatment apparatus, to establish a treatment operation start time and establish the presence of an animal at a treatment location, and then (i) initiate detection of a spatial teat position of a first teat, (ii) register the spatial position, (iii) derive a dedicated teat-treating action, (iv) carry out the teat-treating action, and (v) successively repeat the initiating, registering, deriving, and treating steps once in respect of each teat until all teats are treated, where, when after the start time, a predefined point in time is passed before any of the preceding steps is completed, the method is interrupted and a default treating action for treating all remaining untreated teats is derived and carried out by the treatment apparatus and thereafter the robot arm is retracted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventors: Kerstin Holmstrom, Henrik Olander
  • Patent number: 9795111
    Abstract: An automatic cleaning system for teats is designed to apply at least two different process fluids to the teats so that, in advantageous embodiments, a cleaning treatment can be performed in an automated manner before and after the milking process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Inventors: Jakob Maier, Wilfried Hatzack
  • Patent number: 9730424
    Abstract: A space divider (4) of a milking parlor arrangement 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, 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), wherein the milking cluster (5, 5?) can be adjusted into the working position laterally to the animal (T) to be milked between the front and rear legs thereof. The milking cluster (5, 5?) comprises two halves, wherein each half has a specific set of at least one teatcup (5a). 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?) while the smallest possible amount of space is required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: GEA Farm Technologies GmbH
    Inventors: Otto Krone, Derk Hensel, Armin Hönscheid, Dieter Hille, Erich Schneider, Marc Trossehl, Thomas Mader
  • Patent number: 9723805
    Abstract: A control and monitoring system for a rotating animal platform which includes multiple animal stalls arranged about its periphery, where the system includes an interactive display screen which displays output information relating to the current status of operations on the platform and which displays input channels for use by an operator, the platform itself is represented at said interactive display screen by an annular shape, each stall on the platform is graphically represented by a cell, the cells are displayed in a spatial arrangement corresponding to the arrangement of stalls on the platform, real-time status information relating to operations on the platform is represented at each cell, and the rotating movement of the platform is represented by the progression of each cell about the displayed representation of the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2017
    Assignee: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventor: Anders Nyberg
  • Patent number: 9693508
    Abstract: A structure (20) for growing plants comprises an array (22) of containers (24), for example intermodal shipping containers, each having a floor (28) and an open end (30), and being arranged in a plurality of stacked rows (32), each row comprising a plurality of containers. The array defines a space (34) bounded on its sides by the open ends of the containers. Each container holds a plant-growing apparatus (26) of the type having a plurality of rotatable plant-growing modules (52) in which plants grow radially inwardly toward a light source (56) inside the module. The structure (20) includes means (58, 60) for moving the modules along a path within each container and means (74) for removing the modules from the containers and for placing the modules into the containers. The array of containers and the bounded space are covered by a flexible fabric (50) or rigid dome (48).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Inventor: Edward J. Marchildon
  • Patent number: 9320261
    Abstract: A device to motivate an animal to leave a milking stall includes at least a first unit configured to motivate the animal to leave the milking stall by a first motivation means; a second unit configured to motivate the animal to leave the milking stall by a second motivation means which is of a different type than the first motivation means; and a control unit configured, when it is time for the animal to leave the milking stall, to activate at least one of the first and second units such that the animal in the milking stall will be motivated to leave the milking stall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventors: Johan Axelson, Mats Gudmundsson
  • Patent number: 9192141
    Abstract: An implement for keeping dairy animals, provided with a first and a second production unit and with a care unit having a plurality of subunits, wherein each production unit is provided with at least one accommodation area for a production group, which comprises a group of lactating dairy animals, and with a milking implement for milking the production group, wherein the subunits of the care unit at least include a calving unit for separately accommodating dairy animals in a calving period, and a milking implement for milking newly calved dairy animals, and an infirmary unit for separately accommodating sick animals, and wherein the care unit forms a connection between the production units. There is thus provided a compact disposition, comprising efficient and short distances, for dairy animals requiring care.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventor: Gerth Petersen
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20150107519
    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: Application
    Filed: January 5, 2015
    Publication date: April 23, 2015
    Inventors: Parimal G. Rajkondawar, Roger K. Erdman, David A. Johnson, William S. Nelson, Paul D. Thompson, Gary C. Steingraber
  • 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: 20150083047
    Abstract: A method for controlling a crowd gate comprises operating a milking parlor for a plurality of dairy livestock. The milking parlor comprises an entrance located adjacent to a holding pen, and a crowd gate that forms a side of the holding pen and moves toward and away from the entrance to the milking parlor. The method further comprises determining that dairy livestock should enter the milking parlor, and operating the crowd gate in response to determining that dairy livestock should enter the milking parlor. Operating the crowd gate comprises moving the crowd gate away from the entrance to the milking parlor prior to initiating movement towards the entrance, pausing the movement of the crowd gate, and moving the crowd gate towards the entrance of the milking parlor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2014
    Publication date: March 26, 2015
    Inventor: James D. Siddell
  • Patent number: 8978583
    Abstract: An animal treating arrangement includes a carrying device beside a milking platform rotating with a velocity and having animal places housing animals. The carrying device includes a fundament, a first bearing device (12) provided on the fundament, an arm (13) connected to the first bearing device permitting the arm to rotate in relation to the fundament around a first axis, a support platform (15) connected to the arm (13). A drive arrangement moves the support platform and includes a first drive member (31) rotating the arm around the first axis. A sensor (37) communicates with a control unit (36) and senses an instantaneous value of the velocity. The control unit controls the first drive member to move the support platform to follow the milking platform from a start position to an end position during a part of the rotation of the milking platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Delaval Holding AB
    Inventors: Uzi Birk, Mats Nilsson, Gert Danneker, Thomas Axelsson, Jan Eriksson
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20150020739
    Abstract: The invention relates to a milking parlor arrangement (1), in particular a milking carousel, comprising at least one milking parlor (3) for milking milk-producing animals (T) and comprising an inner robot device with at least one robot arm (9). The at least one milking parlor (3) comprises two longitudinal sides and two narrow sides, namely a head narrow side and a hindquarters narrow side, one narrow side being paired with the head side of a milk-producing animal (T) to be milked as the head narrow side. The milking parlor also comprises an arm device (6) with a milking machine (5), said arm device being adjustable between a parked position and a working position and back. The at least one robot arm (9) is arranged on the head narrow side paired with the head side of the animal (T) to be milked of the at least one milking parlor (3) of the milking parlor arrangement (1) in order to adjust the arm device (6).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Inventors: Otto Krone, Olaf Suhr, Bernhard Schulze-Wartenhorst, Erich Schneider, Thomas Mader
  • Publication number: 20150020738
    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. 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: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Inventors: Otto Krone, Derk Hensel, Thomas Mader, Rolf Teckentrup, Armin Hönscheid, Dieter Hille, Magnus Wiethoff, Marc Trossehl, Reinhard Balkenhol
  • Patent number: 8925482
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of milking a group of dairy animals including a first subgroup and a second subgroup by an automatic milking system, and wherein the milking system is flushed after a dairy animal from the second subgroup has been milked. The flushing step is postponed after a dairy animal from the second subgroup has been milked until at least a minimum number greater than or equal to two dairy animals from the second subgroup has been milked successively, or a subsequent dairy animal belonging to the first subgroup has been identified and the decision has been made that the dairy animal from the first subgroup presenting itself can be milked, or by postponing the milking of a dairy animal from the second subgroup until at least a minimum number greater than or equal to two dairy animals from the first subgroup has been milked successively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Lely Patent N.V.
    Inventor: Michel Hubert Johan Huls
  • Publication number: 20150000601
    Abstract: The invention relates to a milking machine comprising at least one teat cup, a milk conduit and a milk collecting container. The milking machine is arranged to repeatedly go through a teat searching phase and a milking phase. The milk conduit is with one end connected to an outlet of the teat cup and with an other end connected to the milk collecting container. The milking machine comprises a milking pump arranged to apply a predetermined and controlled vacuum to the milk conduit to transport milk from the teat cup via the outlet to the milk collecting container during the milking phase. The milking machine comprises a suction pump arranged to generate a suction flow through the teat cup towards and through the outlet during a teat searching phase.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2013
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Applicant: Lely Patent N.V.
    Inventor: Gerard Mostert
  • Publication number: 20140338604
    Abstract: A dairy farm system, with specified zones each capable of housing one or more milking animals at a time, devices for performing actions related to milking animals in the zones, and a management system that controls the operation of the system and stores animal specific data including information of any zone where a milking animal is located at each instant. Each of the devices, each with control means and storage means provided thereon, is communicatively connected to the management system, and is associated with at least one zone in which the device operates. The management system sends the devices animal specific data of only the milking animals which enter, are about to enter, or have entered a zone with which a device is associated. The animal specific data contain control data used by the control means of the device for controlling the operation of the device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Applicant: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventor: Bjarne Nebelong
  • Publication number: 20140338603
    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: Application
    Filed: March 18, 2014
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Applicant: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventors: Age HEMPENIUS, Sjors MEIJERS
  • Publication number: 20140318459
    Abstract: An implement for automatically milking a dairy animal, such as a cow, comprises a milking parlour, a sensor for observing a teat, and a milking robot for automatically attaching a teat cup to the teat. The milking robot comprises a robot control that is connected to the sensor. The sensor comprises a radiation source for emitting light, a receiver for receiving electromagnetic radiation reflected from the dairy animal, a lens, and sensor control unit. The sensor comprises a matrix with a plurality of rows and a plurality of columns of receivers. The sensor control unit is designed to determine for each of the receivers a phase difference between the emitted and the reflected electromagnetic radiation in order to calculate the distance from the sensor to a plurality of points on the part to be observed of the dairy animal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2014
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Applicant: MAASLAND N.V.
    Inventor: Karel VAN DEN BERG
  • Publication number: 20140299061
    Abstract: A gate arrangement to a fenced area for at least one animal includes a gate movably arranged between a closed position and open position in an opening to the fenced area, and a lock mechanism that locks the gate when the gate is in the closed position. The lock mechanism locks the gate in the closed position with an adjustable specific locking force such that the gate is opened by applying a larger force than the specific force on the gate, and the gate arrangement includes a force adjusting unit that sets the lock mechanism in an unlocked state and in at least two different locked states, in which the gate is locked by two different specific locking forces.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Publication date: October 9, 2014
    Applicant: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventor: Magnus Larsson
  • Patent number: 8813680
    Abstract: In certain embodiments, a system includes a front wall, a rear wall positioned substantially parallel to the front wall, and first and second side walls each extending between the front wall and the rear wall. The first side wall includes a gate, and the second side wall is spaced apart from the first side wall such that the front wall, the rear wall, the first side wall, and the second side wall define a milking box stall of a size sufficient to accommodate a dairy livestock. The system includes an equipment portion located adjacent to the rear wall. The equipment portion houses a robotic attacher configured to extend between the rear legs of a dairy livestock located within the milking box stall in order to attach milking equipment to the dairy livestock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Henk Hofman, Peter Willem van der Sluis, Ype Groensma
  • Patent number: 8807080
    Abstract: An implement for automatically milking a dairy animal, such as a cow, comprises a milking parlor, a sensor for observing a teat, and a milking robot for automatically attaching a teat cup to the teat. The milking robot comprises a robot control that is connected to the sensor. The sensor comprises a radiation source for emitting light, a receiver for receiving electromagnetic radiation reflected from the dairy animal, a lens, and sensor control unit. The sensor comprises a matrix with a plurality of rows and a plurality of columns of receivers. The sensor control unit is designed to determine for each of the receivers a phase difference between the emitted and the reflected electromagnetic radiation in order to calculate the distance from the sensor to a plurality of points on the part to be observed of the dairy animal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Maasland N.V.
    Inventor: Karel Van Den Berg
  • Patent number: 8800487
    Abstract: A system includes a carriage track positioned adjacent to a rotary milking platform, a robot carriage mounted to the carriage track, and a controller. The controller is operable to receive both a first rotary encoder signal indicating a first rotational position of a milking stall of the rotary milking platform (corresponding to a starting linear position of the robot carriage) and a second rotary encoder signal indicating a second rotational position of the milking stall. The controller is further operable to determine, based on a difference between the first and second signals, a desired linear position of the robot carriage on the carriage track (a position corresponding to the second rotational position of the milking stall). The controller is further operable to communicate a position signal to a carriage actuator, the position signal causing the carriage actuator to move the robot carriage to the desired linear position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corp.
    Inventors: Henk Hofman, Cor de Ruijter, Menno Koekoek, Peter Willem van der Sluis
  • Publication number: 20140158052
    Abstract: A system includes a milking box and a robotic attacher. The milking box has a stall to accommodate a dairy livestock. The robotic attacher extends under the dairy livestock and comprises a nozzle. The robotic attacher is operable to rotate such that, during a first operation, the nozzle is positioned generally on the bottom of the robotic attacher, and during a second operation, the nozzle is positioned generally on the top of the robotic attacher.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2014
    Publication date: June 12, 2014
    Applicant: TECHNOLOGIES HOLDINGS CORP.
    Inventors: Henk Hofman, Peter Willem van der Sluis, Ype Groensma
  • Publication number: 20140158051
    Abstract: Milking box or boxes for cows, each milking box having two entrance fences for entry and two exit fences, wherein one first entrance fence and one first exit fence form a first pair of fences positioned at a first side, and one second entrance fence and one second exit fence form a second pair of fences at a second side which is opposite the first side. This type of milking box used in a cow stable further comprises resting boxes, at least one feeder trough, a separation zone or zones, and walking paths, wherein at least the resting boxes are placed at the first side of the milking box or boxes, and that at the second side of the milking box or boxes at least one is placed selected from the group comprising at least one feeder trough, a separation zone or zones, or outdoors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2013
    Publication date: June 12, 2014
    Applicant: Technologies Holdings Corporation
    Inventor: Peter Willem Van Der Sluis
  • Patent number: 8746177
    Abstract: A milking implement comprising a frame with, disposed thereon, at least one teat cup holder with a teat cup movable relative thereto, and a replacing element connected with the teat cup, wherein the frame further includes an intermediate arm connected with the frame and with the teat cup holder and having a first joint and a second joint about which the teat cup holder and the intermediate arm, respectively, are tiltable with the aid of the replacing element, and a spring coupled with the teat cup holder and the frame and, if desired, with the intermediate arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Maasland N.V.
    Inventor: Karel Van Den Berg
  • Patent number: 8646410
    Abstract: A device for milking an animal, such as a cow, includes an animal standing area to be occupied by the animal to be milked in a particular milking position and a robot device with a robot arm assembly for applying to and/or removing teat cups from the respective teats of the udder of the animal. The robot arm assembly has a holder for teat cups at a distal end. At a proximal end, the robot arm assembly is suspended from a support so as to extend downwards therefrom and is rotatable with respect thereto about a first center line which has a vertical direction component, wherein, in use, the first center line intersects the floor of the animal standing area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignee: Lely Patent N.V.
    Inventor: Karel Van Den Berg
  • Patent number: 8601979
    Abstract: Milking box or boxes for cows, each milking box having two entrance fences for entry and two exit fences, wherein one first entrance fence and one first exit fence form a first pair of fences positioned at a first side, and one second entrance fence and one second exit fence form a second pair of fences at a second side which is opposite the first side. This type of milking box used in a cow stable further comprises resting boxes, at least one feeder trough, a separation zone or zones, and walking paths, wherein at least the resting boxes are placed at the first side of the milking box or boxes, and that at the second side of the milking box or boxes at least one is placed selected from the group comprising at least one feeder trough, a separation zone or zones, or outdoors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Technologies Holdings Corporation
    Inventor: Peter Willem Van Der Sluis
  • Publication number: 20130263787
    Abstract: A control and monitoring system includes an interactive display that displays output information relating to the current status of operations in animal treatment stalls arrangement and operator input channels. The system displays a representation of the stall arrangement in which each stall is represented by a cell and in which the cells are displayed in a spatial layout corresponding to the layout of stalls in the stall arrangement. The system displays live video picture images of any animal present at that stall in association with corresponding represented cells in the interactive display. Video picture images may be available in connection with additional elements in an animal installation and may be displayed in combination with data associated with the element depicted in the video pictures and describing the current status of operations at the shown location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2011
    Publication date: October 10, 2013
    Applicant: Delaval Holding AB
    Inventor: Anders Nyberg
  • Publication number: 20130239897
    Abstract: A milking parlour for animals comprising at least one milking stall arranged to receive an animal in a predetermined milking position, teat cups arranged to be used in milking the animal in the milking stall, a teat cup carrier arranged to store the teat cups in the milking stall when they are not used, and at least one robot arm provided with at least one gripping member arranged to grip a teat cup in the teat cup carrier and attach the teat cup on the teat of an animal in the milking stall. The teat cup carrier stores the teat cups in a storing area located at least partly in front of the front legs of the animal with respect to the direction of the animal when it stands in the predetermined milking position in the milking stall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2011
    Publication date: September 19, 2013
    Applicant: DELAVAL HOLDING AB
    Inventors: Uzi Birk, Thomas Axelson
  • Patent number: 8511257
    Abstract: A safety bypass gate is provided for use with a livestock management system having a sorting scale arranged between watering and feeding areas. The safety bypass gate changes from a closed position to an open position to provide an emergency exit from the watering area when a condition exists that prevents animals from passing over the sorting scale. The safety bypass gate includes a pair of pivoting gate members and a channel member that fits over the top edges of the gate members to secure them closed. The channel member is attached to a pneumatic actuator that uses air pressure to hold the channel member in its locked position, and a spring return that moves the channel member to its unlocked position upon a drop in air pressure. Springs bias the gate members from their closed positions to their open positions when the channel member moves to its unlocked position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Osborne Industries Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald M. Thibault
  • Patent number: 8505483
    Abstract: A milking arrangement in includes a milking robot with a gripper (10). The robot includes a base, a link arrangement attached to the base and rotatable around a base axis via a base joint. The gripper (10) has a proximal end and a distal end and is attached to the link arrangement at the proximal end. The gripper has an extension plane and a longitudinal center axis (x4) extending in the extension plane through the proximal end and the distal end. The longitudinal center axis divides the gripper in a primary side (10a) and a secondary side (10b). The gripper has a plurality of separate gripping recesses (11-14), each being configured to grip a respective teatcup. The gripping recesses are asymmetrically positioned with respect to the longitudinal center axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: DeLaval Holding AB
    Inventor: Thomas Axelsson
  • Publication number: 20130199449
    Abstract: A control system and a method for milking members in a milking parlour having plural milking stalls. The control system includes a local control unit in each milking stall automatically preparing the milking member for a milking operation by setting a vacuum valve in an open position when the milking member is moved from a storage position, and a control unit setting the milking stalls in the milking parlour in a pre-cleaning mode when a milking operation is still in progress in at least one other of the milking stalls. In this case, the local control units prepare the milking members for a cleaning operation instead of a milking operation by maintaining the vacuum valve in a closed position when the milking member is moved from a storage position, until the cleaning operation of the milking member is started.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2011
    Publication date: August 8, 2013
    Inventor: Marc Daniel
  • Patent number: 8499717
    Abstract: A portable apparatus (1) for milking of animals (11-16) which are permitted to go loose is described. The apparatus (1) comprises a plurality of stalls (2) with at least one local milk tank (4) in each stall. The apparatus (1) comprises at least two separate lines (19, 20) arranged to receive the milk from the local milk tanks (4) in dependence of the quality of the milk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: DeLaval Holding AB
    Inventors: Uzi Birk, Björn Johansson
  • Patent number: 8490576
    Abstract: The invention relates to a milking parlor and a method for manufacturing same, the milking parlor comprising a work area for an operator and a platform elevated relative to the area, which forms a standing and walking area for the animals to be milked, the platform comprising a substructure on its side facing the work area where a utility space is left open beneath the standing and walking area, and wherein the substructure is formed by load-bearing elements positioned one after the other in the lengthwise direction and configured to be substantially identical.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: GEA Farm Technologies GmbH
    Inventor: Matthias Ahrens
  • Patent number: 8490579
    Abstract: An at least partially open sided outdoor animal shelter structure, the structure including (a) a floor to support animals, the floor including apertures therethrough allowing animal waste matter to pass through the floor, (b) a basement below the floor for collecting the waste matter, (c) floor supports to support the floor above the basement, (d) side supports, (e) a water impervious canopy supported by the side supports, the canopy being supported above at least part of the floor, the canopy allowing at least some light to pass therethrough, (f) at least one air flow controller to control airflow in the area below the canopy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Herd Homes Limited
    Inventors: Thomas George Pow, Kathleen Ann Pow
  • Publication number: 20130167775
    Abstract: A milking system for milking a herd of dairy animals includes a first milking device and a second milking device, an identification device for identifying dairy animals to be milked of a herd of dairy animals, and a control device for determining an estimated treatment time of each dairy animal to be milked. The control device also classifies each dairy animal to be milked with the aid of a criterion on the basis of the estimated treatment time in at least a first or second group of dairy animals. The milking system admits the first group of dairy animals to preferably only the first milking device and admits the second group to preferably only the second milking device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2012
    Publication date: July 4, 2013
    Applicant: LELY PATENT N.V.
    Inventor: Jacobus Izaak VAN DE WALLE
  • Publication number: 20130112144
    Abstract: A dairy parlor light unit for mounting on or in a milking stall curb to illuminate an underside of an animal in the milking stall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 8, 2011
    Publication date: May 9, 2013
    Applicant: GEA FARM TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventor: Ivanovich Wasuck