ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – The Robins Center of Automation office under the 78th Air Base Wing Communications Directorate, here, hosted its second automation Roadshow at the Middle Georgia State University-Warner Robins Campus on Jan. 23 to 26, 2024.
The four-day event resulted in automations that will help Team Robins Airmen and college students save hours of labor, with some completing two-hour tasks down to under 10 minutes.
The CoA office partnered with the Department of the Air Force Bot Operations Team to provide the training at the event, which was open to active duty and civilian Airmen, contractors and MGA-WR students.
“Our goal for this event was to introduce attendees to the growing world of automation, starting with the UiPath tool, in hopes they can apply what they learned to their current positions,” said Kyle Williams, 78th ABW/SC information technology specialist. “We also hope for the MGA students to utilize what they learned in their future careers after graduating.”
UiPath is a tool that mimics human actions and connects multiple systems without changing the existing information technology.
Williams said the event was focused on teaching the attendees automation processes that were useful to their everyday work.
“We asked them to bring their own everyday work processes that they wanted to have automated during the training,” Williams said. “Throughout the week, attendees and trainers worked side-by-side to build UiPath automation bots that could be utilized in their offices. On the final day, attendees presented their automations to everyone. I was happy to hear some attendees created an automation that could turn two or more hours of labor a week into 10 minutes or less.”
He also shared the automation that stood out to him during the event.
“The automation will pull important computer data from an excel spreadsheet needed to secure and patch vulnerabilities on 22,000 computers base-wide in less than 10 minutes,” he said.
Grant Ghesquire, mechanical engineer with 78th Civil Engineering Group, shared his experience as an attendee.
“My goal for this class was rather ambitious,” he said. “While I was unable to complete the entire bot as envisioned, I was able to build a working bot to download and process weekly report data for my organization that will save time and reduce potential errors. I appreciate the opportunity to receive guidance from experts and network with forward-thinking and tech-savvy base personnel.”
The partnership between SC and MGA-WR started about a year ago through a meeting set up by the 21st Partnership, according to Juanson Pitt, 78th ABW/SC chief of business systems branch.
“The initial meeting focused on how to introduce the students to some of the technologies being utilized at Robins and potentially have students working in conjunction to accomplish software development projects,” Pitt said.
The event had 32 attendees. Overall, eight automations are ready for use now, and nine are anticipated to be ready for use in the next 30 days.
According to Williams, the DAFBOT provides robotic process automation infrastructure and licensing, automation development, cohorts, Center of Excellence, and creates Citizen Developers through training and roadshows.
For more information on the CoA, robotic process automation, or how to join their Citizen Developer working group, email Candace Wilder at email@example.com.