Russian farmers use VR headsets to improve the moo-d of cows2nd December 2019
Russian farmers are apparently experimenting with virtual reality (VR) headsets on cows to help improve milk production by simulating calm experiences in a bid to keep the animals’ anxiety levels down.
The project was reportedly conducted at the RusMoloko farm of the Ramensky district by Milknews.ru – a news site for the country’s dairy industry.
The experiment stems from research claiming that dairy farms with a calm atmosphere tended to yield greater quantities of high quality milk.
European farmers often utilise robotic systems to ensure maximum free movement of the livestock in the farm while Russia’s dairy industry – particularly in Moscow’s suburbs – will deploy sound equipment to broadcast classical music in the belief that it equates to a positive effect on milk yields.
These techniques led to employees at one of the largest farms in Moscow – together with IT specialists – to study VR and then create a mock-up headset.
Reportedly, the developers behind the virtual reality studio collaborated with veterinarians and consultants to help adapt the headset for the structure of a cow’s head.
According to studies of vision in cattle, the animals have a greater perception on red shades while blue and green tones are notably weaker.
A summer field simulation was created for the experiment and the initial test results revealed a decrease in anxiety and an increase in the overall mood of the herd.
This is the extent of the inaugural test and Mosreg note “the impact of VR glasses on the milk production of cows will be shown by a further comprehensive study”.
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