UiPath Robots: An Overview
The term Robotic in RPA is often misinterpreted, as many of us assume it as something magical, that emulates human actions.
But, what exactly is it?
Read to find out 👇🏽
What's in this article?
- An Introduction to UiPath Robots
- An Overview on Robot Types & Components
- Steps on implementing a Robot
An Introduction to UiPath Robots
The UiPath robot is a Windows service that enables users to run processes developed using the UiPath Studio (any variant). This service, otherwise known as the robot agent is called or triggered when a process is run from Studio, Assistant, or Orchestrator.
Once triggered, the robot agent executes the set of processes as defined in the workflow. However, its execution can also be paused or aborted halfway, if required.
The performance of this robot agent entirely depends upon the environment in which it is being triggered (dev/test/prod), and can partially depend upon system resources such as RAM, etc.
Types of Robots
➡️ Attended Robot
The Attended Robot works in tandem with the user and it periodically requires user approval or input. These types of robots are often triggered by the business users manually (via UiPath Assistant) or it is triggered automatically by a set of user actions such as receiving an email with a specific subject.
Attended Robots are preferred for scenarios where user intervention is often required to validate and verify the tasks done by the robot.
➡️ Unattended Robot
The Unattended Robot can work independently without wanting any human intervention. These types of robots are often scheduled in the Orchestrator and are automatically triggered in the scheduled time.
Unattended Robots are preferred for scenarios such as data entry or other batch processing, where thousands of rows of data from a spreadsheet needs to be entered into an application and saved.
➡️ Non-Production Robot
The Non-Production Robot is used in the unattended mode for development purposes and is often triggered via Studio.
➡️ Testing Robot
The Testing Robot is used in the unattended mode for testing purposes and it can be triggered via Orchestrator or Studio.
➡️ Studio Robot
The Studio Robot connects Studio, Studio Pro, or Studio X profiles to Orchestrator for development purposes and it is triggered via Orchestrator or Studio.
The UiPath Robot has four main components and all of them are essential for its functioning.
➡️ Robot Service
The robot service is responsible for establishing inter-process communication between the robot components and the end-to-end execution of a process. Therefore, it is known as the brain of all operations.
The robot service is also responsible for the communication with Orchestrator to send and receive data, execution orders, and process statuses.
The robot service can be classified into 2 sub-types, according to deployment:
👉🏽 Service Mode Robot Service: This robot service is preferred for unattended automation scenarios. It is listed under the Windows services and usually provides full administrator access to the system.
👉🏽 User Mode Robot Service: This robot service is preferred for attended automation scenarios. It is not listed under the Windows services and its access can vary depending on the user who's using the system.
➡️ Robot Tray
The robot tray is the user interface of the robot. As a client of the robot service, it displays the list of available processes, and can start, pause, and stop the jobs according to user input.
The robot tray can be accessed from the system tray or can be launched through the search from the start menu.
➡️ Robot Command Line Interface
The robot command-line interface is a console application that can start a process through the commands given. Just like the robot tray, the robot CLI is also considered to be a client of the robot service.
➡️ Robot Executor
The robot executor is directly responsible for the execution of the jobs and is considered to be one of the crucial components among the four. An instance of the executor is automatically created by the system upon starting a job through any means (Orchestrator, Robot Tray, or CLI).
Steps on Implementing a Robot
The implementation or go-live is an important step in every automation project.
A typical robot implementation involves 3 major steps:
- Converting the workflow files (.xaml) into NuGet packages.
- Publishing the package to Orchestrator or UiPath Assistant, and scheduling the processes (optional).
- Testing the process in PROD environment.
Once these 3 steps are completed, the robot is ready to run in real time. However, depending on the size of the project, and the target application used, a few additional steps can be included.
Understanding the what a robot is, its types, and components will not just provide us a new perspective on RPA but, helps us provide clear, reliable, and scalable automations solutions that fit different business scenarios.
If you enjoyed reading the article, please give it a like and share it with other automation enthusiasts. Feel free to get in touch via Twitter @monsieurrahul for any queries.