A portable wireless device with a “vocal commands” feature for activating the mechanical milking phase in conventional milking parlors was developed and tested to increase the level of automation in the milking procedures. The device was tested in the laboratory and in a milking parlor. Four professional milkers participated in the experiment. Before the start of the tests, a set of acoustic models with speaker-dependent commands defined for the project was acquired for each milker using a dedicated “milker training procedure”. Two experimental sessions were performed by each milker, with one session in the laboratory and a subsequent session in the milking parlor. The device performance was evaluated based on the accuracy demonstrated in the vocal command recognition task and rated using the word recognition rate (WRR). The data were expressed as %WRR and grouped based on the different cases evaluated. Mixed effects logistic regression modeling was used to evaluate the association between the %WRR and explanatory variables. The results indicated significant effects due to the location where the tests were performed. Higher values of the %WRR were found for tests performed in the laboratory, whereas lower values were found for tests performed in the milking parlor (due to the presence of background noise). Nevertheless, the general performance level achieved by the device was sufficient for increasing the automation level of conventional milking parlors.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited