Robin, an open source (soon) RPA language

Discuss Robotics Process Automation. RPA is a rapidly growing field with 6 figure incomes and an extreme workforce shortage. This sub forum will be used to discuss aspects of RPA as it relates to both scripting languages and RPA software such as UIPath or Automation Anywhere
burque505
Posts: 1063
Joined: 22 Jan 2017, 19:37

Robin, an open source (soon) RPA language

24 Oct 2019, 15:32

Try Robin here. Helpful forum administrators, but the documentation is still a work-in-progress and the source code and SDK are not yet up.
So far, it at least works great for me in scraping tables straight to Excel (I've barely scratched the surface, downloaded it 3 days ago). Both Web automation and UI automation require creating an 'AppMask', which grabs 'screens'. For each Screen, you have to create a Control for each control you want (or might want) to use. It sounds tedious, but once you've created an AppMask for an application or a site it's easy to reuse.

The language is apparently the brainchild of Softomotive, the creators of WinAutomation, which has a small but respectable share of the RPA pie. The next generation of WinAutomation should be Robin-based, so if you use that platform at work it might be worth getting a jump start on it with Robin.

Definitely worth a look. And the price is right (free).
Regards,
burque505
Robin..PNG
Robin..PNG (3.52 KiB) Viewed 683 times
blue83
Posts: 54
Joined: 11 Apr 2018, 06:38

Re: Robin, an open source (soon) RPA language

25 Oct 2019, 15:57

Looks interesting.. but Question is will Robin stay free?
burque505
Posts: 1063
Joined: 22 Jan 2017, 19:37

Re: Robin, an open source (soon) RPA language

25 Oct 2019, 16:17

Hi blu83, good to see you back. I get the impression that it will indeed remain free. I was told today that the project is migrating to dotnet-core, which should be a good thing as it will be better for cross-platform support. The source code should be available on Github once the transition is complete (or so I'm told).

So far I haven't seen anything to complain about, really -- it's in development, so a number of "Activities" (in the usual RPA sense, "Actions" in Robin perhaps), are missing. There are Outlook "Actions", but no IMAP/POP "Actions". "Actions" for working with Google's suite are there for enterprise-level things such as Google Cloud Vision Services, but nothing so far for Google Sheets or gmail. There are no Word "Actions" yet, nor Powerpoint, and no AHK "Actions". But there are "RunDOSCommand", "RunVBScript", and "RunJavaScript". These missing "Actions" will come, I'll bet, as Softomotive will need them for their flagship product, which reportedly will use Robin in the next iteration .

I inquired about the SDK and found out it gets installed with Robin, which I take to mean that all the required DLLs are already there. Missing (at least for me) is a template or example for creating new Actions or modules, and I also don't know whether the resulting DLLs will need to be installed in a plugin directory or directly in the program directory.

Once the source code is available, with instructions on how to create new modules or actions, I expect there will be many new capabilities.

Regards,
burque505
blue83
Posts: 54
Joined: 11 Apr 2018, 06:38

Re: Robin, an open source (soon) RPA language

26 Oct 2019, 01:45

Thank you burque505, for me always nice to "see" familirar faces-nicknames :)

Yes, I am always here and always reading new posts, but also busy with my work with automation.
Dont know how people was working before AHK and me arrived :)

So, you know for that I like using Robin (at least my first robot, later maybe other stuff) and this could be an advice for everyone, it is for browser and scraping web automation, because AHK doesnt supprort Chrome and Mozilla, I mean on proper way like supporting IE.

I see that you are good in that, so can you please share some code or tutorial how to automate stuff on web with Robin?

It would be great if Robin code can be compiled into .exe file, so ahk can trigger Robin web automation where our process demand that.

Am I on right track?
burque505
Posts: 1063
Joined: 22 Jan 2017, 19:37

Re: Robin, an open source (soon) RPA language

26 Oct 2019, 08:13

Hi blue83, there isn't a guide yet but I can recommend the forum, where there are at least a few examples and some code I posted. (Let me know if you can't find the code there and I'll send some to you.)

Scraping tables was a mystery to me at first, but the forum administrator (@jpap) is very helpful. You will easily find his table-scraping guide.

As far as compiling to .exe, I don't believe it's possible yet, but there is a command-line tool, 'robin.exe'. You can just use AHK to run the executable, triggering it any way you want. It works great.
Here's some screenshots of the help.
Robin..PNG
Robin..PNG (3.52 KiB) Viewed 587 times
help-run.PNG
help-run.PNG (4.74 KiB) Viewed 587 times
check-help.PNG
check-help.PNG (5.67 KiB) Viewed 587 times
If you want a good framework for "orchestrating" your robots, I can recommend Wexflow, which is REALLY well documented. Make sure you get the dotnet-core version (it may be the only one available now). You can also create robots with it, but I think maybe it's best at scheduling. You can run Python scripts and AutoHotkey scripts for sure. It has other functionality I haven't even come close to tapping. You can run anything that would run from the command line, so you can run Robin scripts too.

Just as an aside, every single RPA platform I have tried either a) already does benefit from AutoHotkey, or b) could if there were a plugin for it.

Best regards,
burque505
blue83
Posts: 54
Joined: 11 Apr 2018, 06:38

Re: Robin, an open source (soon) RPA language

28 Oct 2019, 12:06

Thank you burque505 on your effort, that really looks great and detailed.

I will try that and thank you for recommend me wexflow, it has great potential.

One question at the end is it worth to learn Robin for web automation or you think that in some short period of time Ahk creator like Lexikos (or someone else) will create plugin for Chrome or Mozilla that is official supported like COM in IE?

Because i am satisfied with Ahk and only reason that I am maybe in doubt is that IE in the future will stop supporting more and more webpages or the other way to be precise :roll:

Thank you,
blue83
burque505
Posts: 1063
Joined: 22 Jan 2017, 19:37

Re: Robin, an open source (soon) RPA language

28 Oct 2019, 12:15

blue83, I'm satisfied with AutoHotkey too, but the IE issue is troubling. If Robin keeps developing, I'm sure it will be worth the effort.

Maybe I'm wrong (I hope so) but an AutoHotkey extension for the browsers may be quite a ways off. But maybe not - maybe using SharpAHK in developing a plugin might work, for example.

Best regards,
burque505

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