Want More Milk Production From Cows Try VR technology

Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world. The only limits to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheap computing power.

How VR (Virtual Reality) Technology Is Connected to Milk Producing?

Virtual reality is coming for the cows. As announced by Moscow’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food, a team of researchers and vets has developed VR headsets for dairy cows living on a farm just outside Moscow. The reason to convince these cows is that they’re standing in summer fields rather than cold wintery ones. Not only does this calm them down and reduce any anxiety, but it ultimately makes them produce more milk.

Yes, VR is so promising as new technology. It’s even been applied to animals. Of course, the Russian cows didn’t don Oculus Rifts or HTC Vives but were rather kitted out with specially designed headsets large enough to fit their bovine heads and also durable enough to withstand farm conditions. As for the particular summer environment they were immersed in, the designers gave it a warm and predominantly red color scheme since studies on cattle vision have shown that cows perceive the red part of the visible spectrum better than others.

Importantly, experts recorded a drop in anxiety among the cows and an increase in their herd’s overall emotional mood. As for the impact on milk yields, this will be demonstrated by a further comprehensive study, although the Ministry expects it to increase, given the well-established links between emotional well-being and milk production.

It may be small-scale, but this trial raises some profound questions about the likely function of VR, particularly when it becomes a more widespread technology. In this case, VR is essentially being used to distract attention away from a harsh environment.

During initial tests, the VR headsets were able to decrease the anxiety while increasingly improving the mood of the herd as a whole. But the impact of change in mood was not observed and would need a comprehensive study. According to Interfax, the study was conducted on a farm in Krasnogorsk, a city near Moscow.

It might be easier to let the cows out on the field to improve their mood, but in the distant future, farmland and urban areas might not be so distinct. We don’t have to imagine cows herding with cars on urban streets. Some of us in India have experienced it.

How VR (Virtual Reality) Technology works On Producing More

Milk?

  • The virtual reality headsets have been adapted for the dairy cows as an experiment, including colors that are designed to reduce their anxiety.
  • The virtual reality headsets show the cows’ pleasant landscapes and colors or scenes that put the animals in a better mood.
  • The virtual world was displayed on a computer screen, and the animals navigated using a joystick.
  • The summer field illusion has been designed to encourage the cows to eat more grass during the colder, winter months in which cows are said to generally consume less.

Conclusion

The experiment seems to have worked since results from the first test showed that it reduced their anxiety. However, it is still not certain how this will affect the quality or volume of the milk produced by these cows. A further, more comprehensive study is in the pipeline to find an answer to this question. On the ethics front, too, this experiment raises a few questions. Instead of VP simulation, why can’t farmers simply leave the cows in open fields more often? Isn’t there a risk of causing mental distress to the cows when their headsets and removed and they have to re-adjust to reality? How do farmers regulate battery life, and how long the VR headsets are put on the cattle?

 

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