Keeping ahead of dairy manure for cows in freestall barns isn't easy, but a clean barn floor means cleaner hooves, tails and udders; and better health for the long term. Lely is helping the process with the development of the Discovery 120 Collector, a robot designed for solid floors that can take manure away rather than scraping it to the side.
Lely has a long history of robots that work in slatted floors to clean the barn. With this new machine, manure is collected and then released above a dumping location. The Discovery 120 Collector uses water to thin the manure and a vacuum pump to collect the slurry in a manure tank.
Water from the unit is sprayed from the front and back. Spraying from the front results in better manure intake, and from the back to leave behind a wet floor for better grip. The water is tanked independently and is stored in two water bags in the manure tank. As the manure tank gets filled the volume of the water bags decreases, creating more space for the manure.
This robot also knows where it's going by using built-in sensors. It navigates independently without the need for cables or other devices to get the job done. The first machines will be available from January 2017 in Benelux, France, Germany and Switzerland. The device will be available in other countries later in the year. You can learn more at lely.com/collector.