Attended and unattended automation

You might have heard the terms "attended automation" and "unattended automation". This page explains what they mean, what is the difference between them, and what tools and configuration to use in Control Room to support your specific use case.

What is the difference between attended and unattended automation?

In unattended automation, the Robot can complete its task autonomously from start to finish. All inputs and logic are programmed into the robot, and all choices have been considered. No human operator is required during the process, even though the process itself can still be triggered manually, in addition to running on a schedule or as a response to an API call.

Attended automation allows for a human operator to interact with the robot during the execution of its tasks. For example, the Robot might require confirmation before a specific operation, present the operator with a list of possible choices or require a file input to continue. The automation is triggered manually by the operator, which is required to be present during the execution, ready to interact with the robot using a UI.


Unattended automation in Control Room

If your use case can be solved using unattended automation, use the Unattended Processes features of Control Room.

Unattended Process UI

A Unattended Process can be triggered manually via the Cloud UI interface, or using API calls. It can also be set to trigger on a schedule. Each run of the process is accurately logged. Any artifacts are stored in the cloud and are accessible for inspection. In case of errors, a report will be sent to selected users.

Unattended Processes can run completely in the cloud using Robocorp-Hosted Cloud Workers, or on a physical or virtual machine running Robocorp Workforce Agent, accommodating a variety of use cases.

Triggering Unattended Processes with email

In addition to the manual, scheduled, and API triggers the Unattended Processes also support triggering runs with emails. You can find the configuration details here.

Attended automation in Control Room: Robot Assistants

For attended automation use cases, use the Robot Assistant feature of Control Room.

Robot assistants in Control Room

Once a robot is added as an assistant, it can be triggered and interacted with by a human operator using Robocorp Assistant. Logs, reports and any generated artifacts will be stored in Control Room, and will be easily accessible for privileged users.

Using both Assistant and Workforce Agent on the same machine

You can install and run both Robocorp Assistant and Robocorp Workforce Agent on the same machine. They can even trigger executions simultaneously, but this is not recommended as the robots themselves can collide when accessing the same local applications or resources.

Last edit: December 20, 2022