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The future has arrived at a dairy farm near Washington, D.C. A robot there milks the cows. The Woodbourne Creamery is in Mount Airy, Maryland. The cows stand in line for a turn at the robot. John Fendrick is the owner of the farm. He observes the progress of the animals by looking at a computer screen. That is all he has to do. The robot does all the work. It uses a laser to find each teat — the place on the cow where the milk comes out. The robot then cleans the teat and connects it to a milking tube. The robot also tests the milk for possible impurities. If it finds a problem, it rejects the milk. The machine knows to stop when the cow’s milk flow slows. John Fendrick says robots change life on a dairy farm. He says they give the farmer freedom. Most farmers must milk their cows once in the morning and once at night. The animals are milked in good weather or bad. But Mr. Fendrick’s cows do not follow such an order. They stay in the field until they want to be milked. The robot is always available. Mr. Fendrick does not need to be present. He can watch from his telephone. And he gets reports about the milking of each cow on his phone. The cow-milking robot is not low-cost technology however. Mr. Fendrick paid more than $150,000 for it. But, he notes, paying someone to milk the cows is also costly. He says he will make up the cost of the robot in three years. Mr. Fendrick says he gets about 475 liters of milk a day and he does not have to touch a cow. And that is a good thing. Mr. Fendrick says he does not like milking.