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Marijn van Aart, his wife and three young daughters farm in Flevoland, Netherlands. They were early adopters of the BouMatic robotic system being one of the very first to purchase in 2011. van Aart shared, "It has been an adventure to see the robots grow over time. Since the beginning we have been really satisfied about how the robot performed and the support we got from BouMatic. We knew we were starting with a ‘brand new’ machine and not all the features we see now were available at the beginning . But BouMatic set up all the technicians and did a lot of work to get up to the standard where we are now."

"Recently, we got asked by BouMatic if we wanted to go to an upgrade to the Gemini UP as well as be one of the first adopters again to go for another adventure."


BouMatic's robot is a 2-in-1 self-contained unit and, as a result, is quick and easy to install. "We thought it would be pretty tough taking an old robot out and putting a new one in, but together (himself and dealership) we did all the preparation," he explained. The last cow milked was at 8:00 in the morning and around 8:00 in the evening they completed the first main cleaning and were ready to start milking again.

"It had very little impact on our farm. It turned out really good. We expected to have several days where, okay, if it is milking the first cows in its life since it has been redesigned you might expect some troubles. But it was pretty much plug and play. We put it into place and it started milking the way we expected it to milk."


"The design of the robot hasn't been changed a lot in a way that the cow is still part of the herd. So as soon as she walks in the robot, she can look around, she can see what's going on left of her and right of her, which makes the cow really calm which makes it attractive for a cow to walk in. We see it on new heifers who are fresh calved. They walk in really easy, and we can sort out with the single box to a straw pen. It's makes life really easy for me as a farmer. We swapped the robots, but the cows walked in like nothing has been changed," van Aart related.


When asked about what other results or advantages that he has seen with the start up of the Gemini UP on his farm, van Aart said, "The first thing I've noticed is that it has been much more silent in the barn. The vacuum pump is taken out of the robot itself and is placed in a separate machine room. That makes it more comfortable to work in the barn and to be close around the robot."

"Another thing we were really surprised about the huge cut of energy consumption and water consumption. We reduced quite a bit on the electrical bill every month so that’s a good advantage."

He then went on to share about the changes to the milk path. "What we noticed at the first milking is that the updated milking routine through the robot, the milk lines are more open through the robots. A lot of restrictions have been taken out of the machine so it is now more open line between the milk receiver and the teats. Cows are milked out much quicker than before. The milk yield is higher and the vacuum is more stable.

van Aart also likes how the Gemini UP vision detection system can accommodate his mixed breed herd. "The robots can milk either Jerseys or Holsteins without any adjustments we have to make on the robots."

“BouMatic is a fine robot with good milking technology and with a fresh approach to the very practice of robot milking. If we had to do it all again, we would once again end up with a robot - and once again a BouMatic robot."

Marijn van Aart