Let's create a Robot!

Robocorp has a simple website called RobotSpareBin Industries Inc., which is used in our courses and some of our example robots to demonstrate typical RPA tasks. If you've done any of the other courses, you might be familiar with it already.

Feel free to open the RobotSpareBin Industries web application and try to interact with it!

In this course, we'll automate the second page of the website, with an order form for ordering robots.

RobotSpareBin order form

We will create a simple robot that fills a form for ordering a robot and saves a screenshot of the robot.

Our other courses go deeper into interacting with the website and making more complex robots. You can also learn from them about best practices for planning and documenting your robot projects.

Launch view

If everything went all right with setting up Automation Studio, you should now have a view open up like the one below.

Automation Studio launch view

This is the main view of Automation Studio that opens up every time you start the application. From it, you can create robots, manage settings and open previously created robots.

Automation Studio saves all your robots locally and in the folders where you like to store them, instead of storing them on the cloud or in one master folder. This means that you can organize the robots as you like on your hard drive.

Main actions of this view:

  • New Robot — Create new robots from here
  • Open a Robot Folder — Open an existing robot on your hard drive that you have downloaded or edited in another application
  • Convert Robot — A tool that will help you in converting existing legacy robots to Robocorp robots from 1st generation RPA tools
  • Preferences — Control color settings of Automation Studio
  • Link to Control Room — Link Automation Studio to Control Room for uploading your robots

In this course, we'll cover creating new robots and linking to Control Room.

Create a robot

Click the "New Robot" button in the launch view to create your first robot in Automation Studio, a dialog like the one below should open up.

The New Robot dialog

From the left you can select different templates to get set up quickly. In this course, we'll start with the empty one "New Empty Robot". Give the robot a name, for example, "Order Preview". If you want to change the path where the robot folders get created, you can click on the folder icon.

Click "Create Robot" to create the robot and open up the robot editor.

Inner workings of a robot

A brief pause to go through what we mean by a robot. In Robocorp terminology, a robot is a folder or a zip file packaged in a specific way that contains everything needed to run the automation.

All robot files share the same structure, they consist of:

  1. Suites — the robot files that are called when the robot runs,
  2. Resources — user keywords and variables that you can share between tasks and suites
  3. Locators — UI elements that can be interacted with in apps and web pages
  4. Assets and Configuration — images, code library dependencies, and robot entry points when called from Control Room

Structure of Robots

Suites allow you to structure your robots. Simple robots may have just one suite, but a more complex robot can have its code split into multiple suites that can be run separately from Control Room.

Each suite may have:

  1. Tasks — these are the actual commands that can be run for this robot
  2. User Keywords — reusable pieces of code that you can call from your tasks (similar to functions or methods in programming languages)
  3. Variables — saved values, such as numbers, strings, or lists
  4. Settings — suite configuration

Don't worry too much about these yet, in this course we'll build just a simple robot, with one suite and one task!

If you wish to go deeper into how robots are organized, have a look at Robot structure & configuration and Basic concepts of Robot Framework.

Add a Task

When the robot editor opens up, in the middle of it you should see a "Add new task" button.

New Task

Click on the "Add new task" button, add your task a name, for example, "Create preview for order" and save your task.

Great, now you have created your first task!

In the right panel, type a description for your task. This is not required for your robot to run correctly but helps others understand what the robot does. For example: "Fill in web form for ordering a robot and save a preview picture of it."

You don't need to save your changes separately, Automation Studio saves your robots automatically when you edit them.

Editor Overview

Overview of the Automation Studio editor

This is the main editor view of Automation Studio, where robots are built. Drag a keyword from the left-hand panel to the middle to add, and, vice-versa, drag a keyword outside the middle area to remove.

  • Top bar — upload robots, toggle views
  • Middle — main area, where you can drag keywords and create your automation
  • Top-left — panels for managing tasks and user keywords.
  • Bottom-left — adding keywords and managing variables and locators
  • Right — contextual panel that shows information about currently selected items

Don't worry if some of these items are not yet familiar to you! We'll get to them in more detail in the next section.

Command palette

To make using Automation Studio efficient, there is a Command Palette for quickly accessing key functionalities. You can open up a Command Palette by selecting "Open Command Palette" from the View menu or pressing ctrl-K (command-K on Mac).

Automation Studio command palette

Now you've created your first robot and learned about how Automation Studio editor works! However, the robot is not yet doing anything. Next, let's add some keywords to your robot.