UiPath has filed a patent for a method that allows a robotic process automation (RPA) agent to interact with an RPA driver outside of a web browser. The method involves a bridge module that establishes communication between the RPA agent and driver. The RPA agent exposes a robot design interface, while the RPA driver detects user interactions with a target user interface and transmits data to the RPA agent for constructing a robot specification. GlobalData’s report on UiPath gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on UiPath, AI for workflow management was a key innovation area identified from patents. UiPath's grant share as of September 2023 was 23%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Robotic process automation (rpa) for web browser interaction

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: UiPath Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230311322A1) describes a method for executing robotic process automation (RPA) using a computer system. The method involves employing a hardware processor to execute an RPA driver and a bridge module. The bridge module sets up a communication channel between the RPA driver and a web browser application running on the computer system.

The RPA driver, which operates outside of the web browser application, detects user input indicating a target element of a user interface (UI) exposed on the computer system. It then transmits a set of target identification data characterizing the target element to the web browser application through the communication channel. The web browser application provides a robot design interface that outputs a specification of an RPA robot capable of performing an RPA activity on the target element.

The method also includes additional features. For instance, the RPA driver can detect user input indicating another element of a different UI on the computer system, which serves as the target for another RPA activity. It can then transmit data characterizing this other element to the web browser application via the communication channel.

The bridge module consists of two parts: one executing within the web browser application and another executing outside of it. The first part is a browser extension computer program, and the second part is registered as a local messaging host of the browser extension computer program, facilitating the setup of the communication channel.

The communication channel can be established by configuring a local server on the computer system, with transmission occurring through a predetermined port of the server. Alternatively, the channel can be created by writing to a file on a computer-readable medium connected to the hardware processor.

The RPA driver also has the capability to change the appearance of the target element to highlight it compared to other elements of the target UI. The robot design interface allows users to select an RPA activity from a range of options available for execution by the RPA robot.

The bridge module additionally exposes a target configuration UI to the user, displaying at least a portion of the target identification data within it. This data may include the identifier of an RPA target application executing on the computer system, which exposes the target UI.

Overall, this patent describes a method, computer system, and computer-readable medium for executing RPA activities using a combination of an RPA driver, a bridge module, and a web browser application.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.