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The Four D’s and Four O’s of RobOps

By Team InOrbit

As robotics continues to evolve, addressing more use cases across many industries, it is critical to apply the best practices for robot operations, or RobOps. Modeled on DevOps, RobOps is a set of principles, processes and tools that guide robot manufacturers, operators and end users in the development and deployment of robots at scale. 

As a RobOps pioneer, InOrbit has been educating practitioners for years on the Four O’s of RobOps. However, there’s more to the RobOps framework. The Four D's of development often precede and inform the Four O's of operations; in turn, insights from operations help drive development. The D's and O's weave together as operational data from the field feeds continuous improvement of robots and processes. As seen in the infinity loop visualization, adapted from the field of DevOps, this ongoing cycle keeps robot operations agile, efficient and resilient. 

Let's explore these concepts in more depth.

The Four D’s 

  1. Design:
    • What? Designing hardware, software or process enhancements.
    • Why? Proposes a solution based on an understanding of customer needs.
  2. Develop:
    • What? Improving robot hardware, software or processes.
    • Why? Drives innovation and advancement in robot technology.
  3. Deploy:
    • What? Implementing changes to enhance deployed robot performance.
    • Why? Ensures the seamless integration of improvements into operational settings.
  4. Diagnose:
    • What? Understanding robot behavior and performance.
    • Why? Uses data from the field to detect problems and identify solutions.

While the Four D’s outline the key steps in robot development, the Four O’s describe the main stages of operating robots in the real world.

The Four O’s

  1. Observe:
    • What? Robot performance monitoring and data collection.
    • Why? Capture and analyze data for effective decision-making.
  2. Operate:
    • What? Running robots and managing incidents.
    • Why? Ensures the execution of missions in the messy real world.
  3. Orchestrate:
    • What? Coordinating robots, software and infrastructure.
    • Why? Enables coexistence and integration to carry out workflows.
  4. Optimize:
    • What? Identifying opportunities to improve robot efficiency.
    • Why? Drives continuous improvement and operational excellence.

Ideally, the Four D’s and Four O’s work together in a virtuous cycle: the more robots are deployed, the more data and insights are created as part of their operation, which in turn informs the development of software and hardware upgrades. 

The D’s and O's of RobOps provide a framework for thinking about robots and their operation across industries. Here is the best way to understand how all of these elements fit together when considering or checking in on a RobOps integration. Start by identifying your use case, as a Robot Developer or an End User, then click to explore the graphic above.

The Four D’s and Four O’s form the backbone of RobOps, ensuring a holistic approach to robot development and operations. They are central to InOrbit’s mission to maximize the potential of every robot. Learn more about robot operations principles and how they are implemented in the best platform for RobOps @ scale right here.