Robot at the checkpoint
robotic revolution in business
explained with example
The checkpoint solution is a bright example of how hardware and software robots cooperate with people in a single business process
Pepper delivered by SoftBank robotics is one of the most popular gadgets in solutions that are built for interacting with humans
Currently, there is a significant workforce deficit noticed on the European labour market. This is especially important for the jobs that do not require high skills and/or creativity.

At this particular moment, jobs of such kind do not attract young people, and even they are able to drive interest with their financial factor, they are always perceived as 'temporary stops'. It leads to skyrocketing labour costs and problems with the employee flow, requiring bigger and bigger effort every year. Representatives of the so-called generations 'Y' and 'Z' are commonly treated by employers like people who do not pay enough attention on jobs that very often require concentration and high accuracy as well as mechanical repetition of same process.

On the other hand, robotic solutions perfectly match the situation. Robots are still not very smart or creative though the present-level AI technology makes them sufficient to interact with people properly. Also, robots are precise and accurate (sometimes even too much) so for a company that attempts to optimize labour costs they can be a definite win-win solution.
Case Numbers
the formula of the enterprise robotics project
1 robot-gadget
Standing at the checkpoint and interacting with visitors
7 software bots
Arranging appointments, doing OHS tests and more
3 employees
Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) being replaced by robots
6 weeks
Overall duration of the enterprise robotics project
'Iceberg phenomena' means that actual automation is not the robot-gadget. Software is artificial brains and plays main role in the project.
The common efficiency measurement unit for Robotic Process Automation is the so-called FTE, or full-time equivalent. This is not as precise as, for example, per-operation cost but on the other hand it is very easy to understand and provides quick estimate to decision makers.

In our practice we try to maintain a 12-month ROI for robotic process automation solutions. To reduce costs properly and eliminate human action required, a very sophisticated software backend is needed. Actually, this is both 'artificial brain' that stands outside of the robotic gadget and makes it capable to handle some business process and the integration layer.

In Robotic Process Automation solutions integration layer includes both 'traditional' software in the forms of mobile and web applications, and integration software that binds RPA solutions to the existing ERP software.
To maintain efficient timelines and ensure reliability we converted our long-time experience in producing Enterprise Robotics solutions into a modular platform that we call EmploySystem Core.

In fact this means that a solution which is delivered to a client consists of many robots, being a kind of robot swarm.

These robots are of four types: hardware robots-gadgets, software robots, frontends ('in-browser robots') and external service integration robots.

This is a projection of a microservice architecture on the RPA paradigm and becomes the way how we provide solutions that are cheap and fast in production. Actually, the client pays only for non-standard features that are specific to their business processes. All other components are provided out-of-the-box.

Synergy effect
3 ERP solutions are integrated in the process automation
Pepper's role in the system is both most and least important. On one hand, all software systems are autonomous and do not depend on a physical gadget, being able to perform all steps of the business process.

On the other hand, the robot standing at the checkpoint provides expected user experience that brings the solution to life and enables true automation. Visitors interact with the robot using natural language processing and speech synthesis. The robot performs data acquisition using a camera (reading ID documents, performing face recognition) and provides additional input/output using a touchscreen.

Comparable alternative solutions that do not feature a humanoid robot standing at the reception desk are not able to deliver comparable UX capable of substituing human employees.
GUEST:
Hi. We are delivering a parcel to Mrs. Kowalska.
PEPPER:
Sorry, I cannot find you in database. Can you provide your ID to verify your appointment data?
GUEST:
Sure, here you are.
PEPPER:
OK, I can find information about the appointment so she will be able to meet you here in 15 minutes. I will call her just now, so maybe she can get here a bit faster.
The formal definition of business process in BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) is the basis for both technical and conceptual thinking. Using BPMN, we can perform formal refactoring and reengineering of business processes, including our own know-how methodologies such as business process algebra transformations.
Illustration: BPMN of automated process
Project Timeline
Total Duration: 6 weeks
11 November
11 November
Start
Before the beginning of the project, the business process and conceptual vision are defined
11 - 15 November
11 - 15 November
Creating concepts and design sketches
Duration: 1 week
During the conceptual phase, the client works closely with project team to ensure a shared common vision of the future product
18 November - 13 December
18 November - 13 December
Implementing features
Duration: 4 weeks
Feature implementation means building the solution to match the business process and is performed in the agile approach with very short sprints, involving active participation of the customer in the process
16 - 20 December
16 - 20 December
Deploying the platform and configuring the infrastructure
Duration: 1 week
Platform deployment includes making decision on approach (cloud, premises), maintenance procedures and integrations with various solutions on the client's side. This can be challenging, for example, a sandbox is not always available.
23 December
23 December
Running the solution in the production environment
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