InOrbit is on a mission to maximize the potential of every robot. To do that, we educate and advocate for the adoption of effective robot operations (RobOps) and work to fulfill our promise of bringing DevOps best practices to robotics. Today we’re continuing that work, with the launch of new support for Configuration as Code.
This is a vital DevOps practice that has allowed massive data centers and cloud applications to scale. The configuration of every computing resource can be handled through code, such as scripts and API calls, enabling greater control and more advanced logic. This can then be managed through version control systems such as git, support rollbacks and more granular configuration based on different variables.
These best practices support the management of robots at scale. Instead of relying on an operator to click buttons in a user interface, an engineer can now selectively configure more advanced settings by writing efficient code. We know that flexible capabilities are required to streamline the development and management workflow, particularly as deployments grow.
This enables development teams with a few notable opportunities to get even more out of the InOrbit toolset:
Configuring robots can be a time-consuming, manual process that’s prone to human error. The challenge and risk only grow as fleet sizes are scaled and diversified. We appreciate that different robot manufacturers and even different robots from the same vendor often require different configurations; one size simply does not fit all. Nuanced and uniquely configured management tools are required but have been missing. The InOrbit platform removes configuration complexities to give robot developers the precise control they need.
This approach may be an alternative to or used in conjunction with the InOrbit Control interface. Enabling developers to configure their accounts with JSON files. InOrbit provides schemas and further code examples on GitHub so developers can start exploring immediately. Configurations can be scoped to an InOrbit account, an individual robot, or user-defined tags, which unlocks endless possibilities.
More control than ever
Advanced settings, which are not exposed through the InOrbit Control UI, are now easily configurable.
A great example of how this could be used is configuring a robot’s camera(s). A robot developer can now set the frame rate, quality, and dimensions of a feed, along with much more. This makes it possible for data bandwidth to be optimized for any environment.
Additionally, customized incident definitions give developers the control of which metrics will trigger an alert, the threshold this happens at, and the way alerts are issued. This includes support for multiple levels of severity, various notification channels, like a text alert via Slack, and the capabilities for automatic actions in response to an incident.
These examples are the first of many new capabilities Configuration as Code will enable with InOrbit to streamline a host of robot development and management processes.
An efficient development pipeline
Continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI/CD) has been revolutionary for code deployment in the cloud as it allows the automation of the majority of the deployment process, reducing human error and involvement. Bringing this practice to RobOps with Configuration as Code allows for greater integration of existing CI/CD tools. Development teams can have peace of mind knowing that changes will be thoroughly tested throughout the deployment pipeline without excessive black box review.
Development can get stuck in a debugging loop when a breaking change is introduced. Code must be rolled back, but the problem sometimes still doesn’t go away. This is often caused by configuration changes that live outside of a codebase. Using Configuration as Code with InOrbit allows robots to be version-controlled providing oversight and a true picture of the state of a system at any point in time. This will ultimately save development teams time and energy in the debugging process. Less time debugging means more time building.
Get started today
Teams interested in exploring more, who do not have an InOrbit account can start by signing up for free today. We’re so excited to give developers a chance to jump in and explore the new capabilities enabled with Configuration as Code.