Quickstart guide

Getting started

Get productive fast by running your first robot in Robocloud, and start tinkering with it right away.

Now that your environment is set up, we will see together how to run an activity in Robocloud, then how to change it locally and upload it back to the cloud using Robocode Lab and Robocode CLI.

Our activity has already been set up for you in Robocloud: it's a robot that searches Google Images for cute cat pictures! 😺

1. Run the example process in Robocloud

In Robocloud, you will orchestrate your automation activities, monitor their execution and status, view their output artifacts, and more. Let's begin by logging into Robocloud and executing the example process to familiarize ourselves with the environment.

A process is a chain of activities that are executed in order. With processes, you can create multi-step workflows.

Once logged into Robocloud, select the workspace that has been automatically created for you: Robocloud select example workspace

Once you have selected the example workspace, execute the Robocloud Example Process by clicking the Start button on the right: Robocloud start example process

The process will execute in a virtual container in Robocloud, so you do not need to install anything at this point. The activity executes a Google image search, using cute cat picture as the search term, and stores the first image found.

Note that the browser will execute in a headless mode. You will not see a graphical user interface while the browser is running. You can click on the activity while it is running to see how the run is progressing.

You can view the process outputs, such as the log, by clicking on Google Image Search after you've executed it in the Process run activity runs section.

Robocloud run example process

2. Download and Open the Google image search example activity in Robocode Lab

Example activities are a great way to get started with creating software robots. You can execute them with minimal setup. The activities use the recommended directory and file structure. Each directory contains helpful files with information regarding its purpose.

You can download the example activities directly from Robocode Lab and start hacking away! The example activities also contain the robot that you just ran in Robocloud, so let's download them to see what it contains and how we can change it.

Robocode Lab launcher

Click on the Download Example Activities button in the "Get Started" section in the Robocode Lab welcome screen.

Create a new directory on your system where you want to store the example activities. In our case, we created a directory called Robocode Lab Examples in the Documents folder:

Robocode Lab launcher - Download examples screen

Click on Download examples. After a loading screen, you will be taken back to the welcome screen. On the right, you will see a list of example activities. Double-click on the google-image-search example activity on to open it:

Robocode Lab launcher - open activity

3. Execute the example activity in Robocode Lab

An activity is a reusable part of a process that can be executed separately from other activities.

The example activity will use a real browser to complete the example task. You will need Chrome installed on your system to be able to execute the example activity successfully.

The directory structure of the example activity is presented on the left side of the Robocode Lab screen. Navigate to the tasks directory by double-clicking on the directory.

In the tasks directory, double-click the google-image-search.robot file to open it.

Click on the >> button in the toolbar and click Restart to run the software robot in Robocode Lab.

You can also find the run command from the menu on the top of Robocode Lab screen, by selecting Run -> Restart Kernel and Run All Cells....

You might see a firewall warning regarding python.exe when running the robot on Windows 10. It is safe to close the warning.

After a successful run, you should see a cat picture in the Notebook view in the editor. You can also view other activity outputs, such as the log file. You can find the log link at the bottom of the Notebook after running the robot.

Running the example robot in Robocode Lab

4. Update the activity to search for "cute dog picture"

*** Variables ***
${GOOGLE_URL}     https://google.com/?hl=en
${SEARCH_TERM}    cute cat picture

In the .robot file, change the ${SEARCH_TERM} variable value cute cat picture to cute dog picture. Save the Notebook by pressing Ctrl+S (Windows) or Command-S (macOS). Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter (Windows) or Shift-Command-Enter (macOS) and click Restart to run your updated software robot.

The updated activity should now store a picture of a dog instead of a cat.

Robocode Lab getting dog picture

5. Upload the updated activity package to Robocloud

For this step to work, your Robocode Lab installation should be linked to your Robocloud account, as described in the Environment Setup chapter of this guide.

Click on the Push to Robocloud button on the top right corner:

Push to Robocloud button

A new window opens. Select the My Example Workspace workspace, then the Google Image Search activity package, and click the Push to Robocloud button. You will see a notification message once the upload is complete.

Push to Robocloud screen

6. Execute the updated activity in Robocloud

In Robocloud, navigate to your example workspace and select Processes from the top menu. Execute the Robocloud Example Process by clicking the Start button. The resulting image should have changed from a cat to a dog.

Conclusion

Congratulations, you completed the quickstart for new users!

There's a lot more to discover and learn:

  • To learn more about the available tools and services, see the Robocorp Suite section.
  • To learn about developing software robots follow our Beginners' course, where we create a fully working robot from scratch.
  • Take a look at the tutorials section. The Simple robot tutorial is a good starting point if you are a beginner. The Web store order robot tutorial might interest you, if you already know the basics.
  • Join our developer Slack environment to keep in touch, discuss, and collaborate with other users! To receive your invitation just click on the Join our developer Slack link under the help menu in Robocloud:

Robocloud join slack button in Robocloud help menu

Good luck on your journey!