Virtual Workstations For Robots
As discussed in the previous blog post, the process of manufacturing robots and monitoring their work proceeds much more smoothly when we can automate the individual components of the process. One of such elements we automate is the creation of virtual workstations for robots. In other words, this is the stage of preparing the robots’ environment.
Benefits of automating the process of creating virtual workstations
Each of our robots requires its virtual workstation and virtual computer to do its job. Automating the process of creating robotic workstations helps to:
- ensure high quality and safety,
- reduce the risk of errors,
- reduce time-to-market.
To build new robotic stations or whole dedicated environments very quickly, we use mechanisms that allow us to automatically manage the infrastructure and configuration. Due to the tools we chose such as Terraform and Ansible as well as the flexibility of public cloud, in a short time we are able to build entire farms of environments for robots in a routine way.
Increased safety due to automation
One of the key elements that are bolstered due to automation is safety. As we prepare a virtual workstation for a robot, we have to connect our environment with the client’s systems. Due to a safe site-to-site VPN connection only our robots have access to the client’s applications. Robots always work on dedicated accounts (either domain or application accounts), which ensures complete transparency and accountability of their work.
The virtual workstations are always located in isolated subnets with limited access. The environments of individual clients are fully separated so it is not possible for robots or users who shouldn’t access those environments to connect to them.
Standardisation of robotic workstations and monitoring
Virtual workstations are built according to established standards. Because of that we can quickly create subsequent workstations or replace one of the robots, if necessary. Standardisation helps us to react dynamically and flexibly to the client’s changing needs.
Each environment has a dedicated system to monitor robots’ work both from the business and technical perspective. Reports are available online so that any moment clients can oversee how robots are working.