One of the things that we have been able to do at Hirebotics since we started the company is receive notifications from the robots in the field when something went wrong. We also received relevant performance data in real time from the robot as it was running the program. These were foundational to the way that we operated our company as a Robot-as-a-Service provider. One of the questions we have been asked almost since the beginning of Hirebotics was could anyone use the tools that we had created to monitor their robot. Up until recently the answer was no, but last year we released the Beacon platform for cloud connecting any Universal Robots cobot. With Beacon you were able to get real time insight into the IO, variables and log messages the program was generating. You also got real-time backups of the system enabling you to restore back to previous versions using the app or send secure links to the files to other people such as co-workers or the robot distributor.
One of the most sought after features though was the ability to track custom events and receive notifications from the robot. In January we launched this feature within Beacon, you can read more about it here. With Beacon Events you can create custom events in your program that allow you to then perform tasks on those events like subscribe to push notifications, chart events, and a whole lot more that is coming. Out of the box without any configuration Beacon Events will notify you when certain system events occur such as protective stops, power on, power off, etc. Custom events build on top of that allowing the robot program developer two unique ways to interact with events. You can either use the program node contribution in the Beacon URCap or you can write custom script events which allow you to build complex event types. You can learn more about custom events by visiting our GitHub repo where we have some example recipes already put together and ready to deploy on your robots.
With Beacon Events you can choose how you want to see the event, either receive a push notification, like when the robot runs out of parts, or chart an event such as when a part is made. The system provides flexibility in how you use the events and gives you total control in what you subscribe to through the mobile, web or desktop interface. How else would you want to be able to use these events? Some ideas we have already heard is ability to hook into other systems such as Slack. What other systems would be beneficial? The core concept we are working on is getting production and process relevant data out of the robot and turned into actionable data, in real time so that efficiency and effectiveness of the automation solution can be improved.
If you would like to discuss your application and how Beacon might be used to benefit it reach out, we would love to hear what you are solving and how Beacon might play a role in that solution. You can always post on here or reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org