He, the robot - Jidoka


He, the robot

Él, robot
8 January, 2015

That night I had work, for him it was simple, but not for the others, those carbon-based beings on the other side of the LCD screen who called themselves humans made it seem so easy. Others made mistakes every time they did things differently. In other words, they were not reliable, they were made of another paste.

However, he was a machine, he was predictable, implacable, infallible, he was the pride of his race, he was a software robot. He was N0M1N4, the second version.

It was an important, delicate task, and one in which he could not make mistakes.

That night he had work, he had to send the payrolls of the others,the humans, as they had told him it was an important, delicate task, and in which he could not make mistakes. Many of the others depended on it being done well and in time, but that did not mean doing it before, but just in time, in a certain time frame. He liked to help others, in the end, his creators were also of the others.

Not only was it time to act, but it was also necessary to check whether there was a balance. For him it was just a number in a web portal, but it had to be greater than the sum of all the payroll to be paid. The others sometimes seemed curious to him.

The process

That night he had work, he had started checking the email, from a mailbox called “manager”. They had sent a PDF file with all the payrolls, meaning they started their work. He had processed the file, 30 pages, 2 for each of the others. That month there was “extra pay”, a new concept he had to manage. He divided the file by each name that appeared at the beginning of each page, extracted the liquid amount of each page, did not serve the gross amount, and with that information calculated the total that the human called “manager” should pay that month.

Later he connected to the banking portal, read the balance of the account, and there was enough money. It was not like the month before where he had to send an email to the manager notifying there was not enough balance. That month he had to work two days, that night and two nights later. For him, it was not a problem, he liked to do what he did, and he did it very well.

He began to handle the application of remittances of payroll transfers. It was very old, when there were no robots, it was not a problem either. It traversed each person that appeared in the system and established an amount to send from the data obtained from the PDFs. This point was critical. He had to assign the correct values by name and identifier and not mix amounts. He checked every time, every night of the indicated, once a month and he never did anything crazy.

Before making a mistake, it was better to warn that something was wrong

The final action of the remittance application was the creation of the SEPA file. That part was easy, at least for him. After this, he was ready to announce to everyone that he was finishing his work for another month and as always without errors. His work was very important, as they told him when they built it, before making a mistake. It was better to warn that something was wrong, something not foreseen, like that month that a person stopped appearing in the PDF file. That month they had to improve it, so now it was version 2, its previous version did not know how to handle that situation and reported it by email.

He sent the prepared remittance to the bank and later signed it. Because of what they had said during its construction, this step had been problematic. Its creators had had to use a SIM module to receive the signature verification code. They were considering doing it with him or manually, with the others, without a doubt with him it would be more reliable. In other banks the signature was simpler, a key card or something similar, he did not care, he could do everything.

All ready!

Now everything was ready, it was time to email each payroll to each person. The others liked to receive that PDF every month. It made them feel happier. He also liked others being happy.

“He, the robot”, is a small tribute to my favorite author, Isaac Asimov. It is also the description of what a Jidoka robot can do in a more novelistic format than a computer one.

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