Last week, I led a robot workshop in New York City. A huge thank you to Sauce Labs for sponsoring and Crowdtap for hosting the event at their office. Thank you specifically to Ashley Wilson at Sauce Labs and Arjun Anand at Crowdtap for setting everything up. In particular, I owe a massive thank you to my lovely wife, Kelly, for taking the day off work the day before the workshop to help me put all the kits together!
So, the workshop was glorious. Crazy dancing robots everywhere.
Two days later, Tapsterbot got TechCrunched. Several of the workshop attendees work at R/GA and are now using Tapsterbot to test apps for Nike. Nike! Robots get you paid!
Last year, I wrote a piece for Wired explaining my belief that as mobile apps get more sophisticated, robots are going to be an important part of the future of test automation:
A robot tester is the best of both worlds – it’s a real-world test on a real device – and because it’s a robot, it also performs the task precisely and quickly.
Bill Gates used to talk about “A computer on every desk”. My dream for the Tapsterbot project is “A robot on every desk.” I’m excited to see R/GA is starting to make that dream a reality!
There are many improvements coming to Tapsterbot in the future, for example, adding a second arm so it can “double-tap”, pinch, and zoom, and integrating more tightly with Appium to automate mobile app testing end-to-end. But along the way, the robot is learning lots of new tricks.
Later in the day, Jonathan Lipps (also from Sauce Labs) gave an excellent overview of Appium and how Tapsterbot and Appium will work together closer in the future.
I’m looking forward to doing more workshops. I’m spending more and more of my time now on robots, and figuring out how to mass produce more Bitbeam.
If you’ll be in the San Francisco Bay Area on May 18 & 19, come check out Tapsterbot and Bitbeam at Maker Faire Bay Area. (I’ll be hanging out at the Gridbeam booth again.)
Until then, grab the Tapsterbot source code (and all the CNC-able/3D-printable Bitbeam parts) and start hacking the future of test automation!