Russia equips cows with VR headsets to produce more milk

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Michael Naimark
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  • Russia created sunny pasture simulation to make cows happier

- cows are sentient beings, just like us. When winter returns, depression sets in in the minds of these ruminants and their productivity is reduced.

This is the reason why some breeders try to cheer them up, for example by playing classical music. It is indeed proven that a calming atmosphere increases milk production, in particular by Dutch and Scottish studies.

Farmers in the Moscow region, meanwhile, have decided to go even further by equipping their dairy cows ... with virtual reality headsets. The aim of the experiment, carried out on a farm in Krasnogorsk northwest of Moscow, is to check whether cows produce more milk when they are immersed in a serene and pleasant virtual environment.

Russia created sunny pasture simulation to make cows happier

To do this, farmers have partnered with veterinarians and software developers to create a simulation of grazing in midsummer, when the sun is shining and the birds are singing. This virtual environment was created based on scientific research in the field of cattle vision.

From the start of the experiment, the experts were able to observe reduced anxiety and general improvement in emotional mood within the herd. At least that's what the regional agricultural administration says…

Just as VR allows humans to fight depression or overcome their phobias, so it could allow other mammals to relax and change their mood. Beyond the unusual aspect of this Russian experience, which can make you smile (or cry?), It could therefore be an important step forward for veterinarians and a new use case for medical virtual reality.

The second phase of the experiment will aim assess the milk production of cows wearing a VR headset, in order to verify the impact of the device. If the results are encouraging, the experiment will be able to continue at the national level. So, the next time you take a tour of Russia, don't be surprised if the cows in the pastures are equipped with the latest VR headset!

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