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All you need to know about Robot Class in Selenium WebDriver

Last updated on May 20,2020 12.2K Views
4 / 14 Blog from Selenium Webdriver

Robots help in managing all the activities like performing the task within the specified time, handling the mouse functions and the keyboard functions and many more. This article on Robot class in Selenium deals with certain functions that help in controlling the mouse and the keyboard while testing an application using Selenium

“Robots will play an important role in providing physical assistance and even companionship for the elderly” – BIll Gates

Below are the topics we’ll be covering in this article

So, let’s start with our first topic, What is Robot class?

What is a Robot class?

Time plays a major role while testing an application and we need to make sure we complete the desired task within the specific time.

A Robot class in Selenium is used to generate native system input events for test automation, self-running demos, and other applications where you need control over the mouse and keyboard. WebDriver cannot handle the OS popups, so in Java 1.3, Robot class was introduced.

The primary purpose of this Robot class is to facilitate automated testing for Java platform implementations. In simple terms, I would say this class provides control over the mouse and keyboard devices.

This is very easy to implement as it can be easily integrated with current automation framework

Now, let us understand the importance of this class

Importance of Robot class

  • Uploading a file is easy when we use the robot class
  • It can simulate and handle the mouse and keyboard functions
  • It can handle pop-ups as well

Let’s move on to our next topic and understand what are the different methods that are used to implement the Robot class.

Methods to implement the Robot class

To implement the Robot class, we require a few methods that help in easy execution of test scripts. We have: 

  1. KeyPress()
  2. KeyRelease()
  3. MouseMove()
  4. MousePress()
  5. MouseRelease()

We also use the KeyEvent which is a separate class that is responsible for the keyStroke

Let’s understand each of them in detail

  • KeyPress(): This method is called when you want to press any key

Ex: robot.keyPress(keyEvent.VK_UP);

This will press the UP key on the keyboard

  • KeyRelease(): This method is used to release the pressed key on the keyboard

Ex: robot.keyRelease(keyEvent.VK_CAPS_LOCK);

This will release the pressed capslock key in the keyboard

  • MouseMove(): This method is called when you want to move the mouse pointer in the X and Y co-ordinates

Ex: robot.mouseMove(coordinates.get.X(),coordinates.get.Y());

This method is called when you want to move the mouse over X and Y coordinates

  • MousePress(): This is used to press the left button of the mouse

Ex: robot.mousePress(InputEvent.BUTTON1_MASK);

Helps in pressing the mouse button

  • MouseRelease(): This method helps in releasing the pressed button of the mouse

Ex: robot.mouseRelease(InputEvent.BUTTON3_DOWN_MASK) 

This method is used to release the right click of the mouse

Now, let’s try to implement this robot class

How to implement the Robot class in Selenium

We’ll try to automate the web page edureka.co to unleash their way of interaction

Step 1: Link the respective browser driver to the ChromeDriver and specify the path

Step 2: Get the URL of the corresponding webpage and the O.S pop-up appears when you navigate.

Step 3: Find the element on the web page using the element locators

Step 4: To handle the pop-ups we use Robot class, using this we create an instance of Robot Class in the code say Robot robot = new Robot(). Robot class is present in the AWT package of JDK.

  • To press down arrow key on the Keyboard we use (robot.keyPress(KeyEvent.VK_DOWN));
  • To press the TAB key of keyboard we use (robot.keyPress(KeyEvent.VK_TAB));
  • To press Enter key we use (robot.keyPress(KeyEvent.VK_ENTER));

To perform the mouse actions, we use

Step 1: MouseMove() method takes the x and y coordinates as its parameters robot.mouseMove(640, 360)where 640 indicates X-axis and 360 indicate Y-axis. So, this method will move the mouse pointer from the current position to the X and Y intersection point.

Step 2: We need to press the mouse button. We will use mousePress method robot.mousePress(InputEvent.BUTTON1_DOWN_MASK) .

Step 3: After the key is pressed, the mouse button needs to be released. We will use MouseRelease() to do it. robot.mouseRelease(InputEvent.BUTTON1_DOWN_MASK) this helps in releasing the left click of the mouse.

import java.awt.AWTException;
import java.awt.Robot;
import java.awt.event.KeyEvent;

import org.openqa.selenium.By;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver;

public class DemoClass {

public static void main(String[] args) throws AWTException, InterruptedException {
System.setProperty("webdriver.chrome.driver", "C:UsersNeha_VaidyaDesktopchromedriver_win32chromedriver.exe");
WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver();
Robot robot = new Robot();



Now. let us have a look at the output of this program

It first gets the URL of the web page edureka.co 

Output - Robot class in Selenium - Edureka

Next, it navigates to the next page edureka.co/all-courses using the LinkText

Courses - Robot class in Selenium - Edureka

Presses the TAB key on the keyboard

Tab function - Edureka

Once this is done, we’ll execute the actions performed on the mouse

MouseMove - Edureka

Also, check out this video on Robot class where the experts have explained it in a detailed manner

Robot Class in Selenium WebDriver | Handle Keyboard Events in Selenium

This video will help you understand how to automate keyboard and mouse functions using simple methods.

Now, let’s see what are the limitations of this robot class

Limitations of the robot class

  • Mouse or keyboard event will only work on the current instance of the window
  • It is difficult to switch among different frames or window
  • Some methods like MouseMove() depends on the screen resolution so there is a possibility that code will not work on other machines.
  • While executing a robot event, if the code execution is moved to another window, the mouse or keyboard event will still remain on the previous window.

With this, we come to the end of “Robot class in Selenium” blog. I Hope you guys enjoyed this article and understood what is a Robot Class in Selenium. Now that you have understood how a Robot class can handle the mouse and keyboard functions, check out the Selenium Certification Course by Edureka, a trusted online learning company with a network of more than 650,000 satisfied learners spread across the globe. This course is designed to introduce you to the complete Selenium features and its importance in testing software. Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of “Robot class in Selenium” and we will get back to you.


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