Cotswold farm demonstrates cow-milking robot

Cotswold farm demonstrates cow-milking robot Credit: ITV West Country

A robot that milks cows. It sounds like science fiction but it's very much a reality here in the West.

A farm in the Cotwolds has been demonstrating how it puts the cows themselves in charge of when they are milked.

The cows queue up when they want to be milked, and the machine lets them in. The robot offers some food to keep her happy while her udders are washed.

Then a laser helps guide the robotic arm onto the teats. When it's finished milking, the door opens and the cow wanders out.

It's part of a new investment scheme by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust at its reserve at Greystones Farm in Bourton on the Water.

Farmer Simon Weaver rents fields from the trust and has based 60 cows there. Milk collected by the robot is used to make cheese.

The cows all wear special collars, which the robot milker can identify. Some of the cows come out of the machine and go straight back in hoping to get more food. It doesn't work, because the robot knows this cow has just been milked.

There's archaeological evidence that people have been living and farming this site for thousands of years. But the Wildlife Trust says investing in modern equipment is the way forward.