Robotics in DPA: The bell carillon effect

Published: May 14, 2018

Carillons, such as the one in the bell tower at Lake Wales, Florida, Bok Tower Gardens, are beautiful and complex musical instruments. It is complex because the player has to orchestrate several bells to produce the perfect harmony. It is only the mind of the player that is present and the actuation of bells is handled through massive levers that make up the massive carillon.

Work imitates art here, especially with robotics. When in action (singing), we want our robots to work in harmony, producing brilliant sounds like that of a carillon and not act like individual bell carolers. To do this, we need to think about the architecture of robotics and how they are orchestrated in a solution or an enterprise architecture. Otherwise, training new bell carolers will be the unenviable fate of the organization.

Identifying opportunities for robotics isn't new. There are solutions that study characteristics of a process workflow and highlight those places where robotics would make sense. To dig deeper, I propose that a method of a reporting which examines the amount of time taken at each assignment against the expected amount of time. For example, if your DPA application was built with assumptions of a certain set of steps, but in the end, data shows that those steps took an extraordinary amount of time, we should look deeper into each assignment within that series. Through data analysis, we can pinpoint characteristics that when present force a few extra lookups or different navigations, which were not originally designed. These navigations qualify as perfect opportunities to further enhance the experience of the user and thereby enhance the interaction with customers.

Consider yourself where you are doing significant business, if you are on the call and because of your relationship with a business, intelligence within the systems tells the company you are dealing with that there is more to 'bring up', than just the conversation. So you as a significant customer get a lesser experience than just a fresh customer. Does that make sense? Of course not. How do you think it would be if the caroler of the bells had to pull the bells out of the case first, before they could play the note the conductor is waiting for? Same thing.

While the current mindset of cognitive is "always on" to make important decisions, one important element of automation is to not only automate when a set of conditions exist but to also make sure that the robot is disconnected from the conditions for which it is used. In the end, the robot simply operates like a lever on the carillon. Likewise, without those features, it steadily remains available without running but accessible when the right decision calls for it. Too often robots are built and orchestrated with nothing more than a simple IF-THEN condition. Further fear is that the robots are being constructed with logic inside them as well. This is the worst fear, because now, the potential for business logic exists and leaks into other systems not intended to have those decisions. This mindset creates the bell carolers phenomenon. Specifically, each robot must know the entire sheet of music, ultimately recognize their note, and only ring their bell at the moment their characteristic (the note) is at the right timing.

Give us a call and we can walk you through our strategy for ensuring a carillon approach to robotics in your solutions.

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