Robot Class in Selenium Webdriver

What is Robot Class in Selenium?

Robot Class in Selenium is used to enable automated testing for implementations of Java platform. It generates input events in native systems for test automation, self-running demos and other applications where users need control over mouse and keyboard. Robot class is easy to implement and it can be easily integrated with an automated framework.

Why Robot Class?

Robot Class is used in Selenium because, in certain Selenium automation tests, users need control over keyboard or mouse to interact with OS windows like download pop-ups, print pop-ups, etc. and native applications like notepad, calculator, etc. Selenium Webdriver cannot handle these pop-ups/applications, so in Java version 1.3, robot class was introduced which can handle OS pop-ups/applications.

Robot Class Documentation

The Robot Class Documentation in Selenium helps users to understand the basic definition, syntax and usage of all the methods and functions available in robot class in Java AWT package. Users can view the documentation on the Official Oracle website. Users can also create the documentation on their local machine themselves.

To create the documentation on local machine, follow the steps below-

Step 1) You will find the file in JDK folder. Copy and extract the same in some other folder or directory (say D: or E: )

Robot Class Documentation

Step 2) Extract src folder and Navigate to (path till src folder)/src/java/awt

Step 3) Copy the current location of awt folder and open command prompt.

Step 4) In cmd, change your current directory location to awt folder and type ‘javadoc *.java’ as shown below

Robot Class Documentation

Wait a while for the system to process, once completed you will see few HTML files in awt folder.

Step 5) Open index.html

Robot Class Documentation

Step 6) Here’s you have full documentation of awt package, from the left navigation bar click on ‘Robot’ hyperlink (See 1 marked in below image).

Robot Class Documentation

Here you can also see all the methods and interfaces of Robot Class (See 2 marked in above image).

Robot Class Methods in Selenium and Usage

Robot Class methods can be used to interact with keyboard/mouse events while doing browser automation. Alternatively AutoIT can be used, but its drawback is that it generates an executable file (exe) which will only work on windows, so it is not a good option to use.

Some commonly and popular used methods of Robot Class during web automation:

Method 1: keyPress():

robot.keyPress(KeyEvent.VK_DOWN): This method with press down arrow key of Keyboard

Method 2: mousePress():

robot.mousePress(InputEvent.BUTTON3_DOWN_MASK): This method will press the right click of your mouse.

Method 3: mouseMove():

robot.mouseMove(point.getX(), point.getY()): This will move mouse pointer to the specified X and Y coordinates.

Method 4: keyRelease():

robot.keyRelease(KeyEvent.VK_DOWN): This method with release down arrow key of Keyboard

Method 5: mouseRelease():

robot.mouseRelease(InputEvent.BUTTON3_DOWN_MASK): This method will release the right click of your mouse

Sample code to automate common use cases using Robot Class

  • Lets take example of web site wherein after you click on a web element (.//a[@href=contains(text(),'yearly-calendar.xls']) a O.S download pop-up appears.
  • To handle this we use Robot class (by creating an instance of Robot Class in your code say Robot robot = new Robot()) . Robot class us present in AWT package of JDK.
Keyboard Key Method
To press down arrow key we use (robot.keyPress(KeyEvent.VK_DOWN))
To press TAB key we use (robot.keyPress(KeyEvent.VK_TAB))
To press Enter key we use (robot.keyPress(KeyEvent.VK_ENTER))

Example of Robot Class in Selenium

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.firefox.FirefoxDriver;	

class Excercise1 {	

      public static void main(String[] args) throws AWTException, InterruptedException {	
           WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();	
           driver.get(""); // sample url	
           Robot robot = new Robot();  // Robot class throws AWT Exception	
           Thread.sleep(2000); // Thread.sleep throws InterruptedException	
           robot.keyPress(KeyEvent.VK_DOWN);  // press arrow down key of keyboard to navigate and select Save radio button	
           Thread.sleep(2000);  // sleep has only been used to showcase each event separately	
       // press enter key of keyboard to perform above selected action	

Check this video to see it in action

How to execute Robot Class code using TestNG

Since, now you aware of basic methods of Robot Class so let’s understand few more complex methods –

Suppose you do not want to use the click method for clicking at web element.

In such cases, you can use mouseMove method of the Robot class.

Step 1) mouseMove method takes x and y coordinates as parameters like robot.mouseMove(630, 420) where 630 indicates x-axis and 420 indicate y-axis. So, this method will move your mouse pointer from the current location to mentioned x and y intersection point.

Step 2) Next, we need to press the mouse button. We can use the method mousePress like robot.mousePress(InputEvent.BUTTON1_DOWN_MASK) .

Step 3) After press, the mouse needs to be released. We can use robot.mouseRelease(InputEvent.BUTTON1_DOWN_MASK) in order to release left click of a mouse.

Running code using testNG:

Running code using Testng requires maven dependency of testNG or referenced library of TestNG jar file.

TestNG maven dependency:


After adding maven dependency or jar file. You need to import Test annotation of testNG. Once it is all done, just Right click on the program code and click on Run As then click on TestNG… and you will find that code will start its execution using testNG API.

Here is the code

import java.awt.AWTException;	
import java.awt.Robot;	
import java.awt.event.InputEvent;	
import java.awt.event.KeyEvent;	
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;	
import org.openqa.selenium.firefox.FirefoxDriver;	
import org.testng.annotations.Test;	

public class Excersise1 {	

    public static void  execution() throws InterruptedException, AWTException {
        WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();	
        driver.get(""); // sample url	
        Robot robot = new Robot();	
        robot.mouseMove(630, 420); // move mouse point to specific location	
        robot.delay(1500);        // delay is to make code wait for mentioned milliseconds before executing next step	
        robot.mousePress(InputEvent.BUTTON1_DOWN_MASK); // press left click	
        robot.mouseRelease(InputEvent.BUTTON1_DOWN_MASK); // release left click	
        robot.keyPress(KeyEvent.VK_DOWN); // press keyboard arrow key to select Save radio button	
        // press enter key of keyboard to perform above selected action	

Check this video to see it in action

Benefits of Robot Class

  1. Robot Class can simulate Keyboard and Mouse Event
  2. Robot Class can help in upload/download of files when using selenium web driver
  3. Robot Class can easily be integrated with current automation framework (keyword, data-driven or hybrid)

Disadvantages of Robot Class

Robot framwork has few disadvantages mentioned below:

  1. Keyword/mouse event will only works on current instance of Window. E.g. suppose a code is performing any robot class event, and during the code execution user has moved to some other screen then keyword/mouse event will occur on that screen.
  2. Most of the methods like mouseMove is screen resolution dependent so there might be a chance that code working on one machine might not work on other.


Robot class in AWT package is used to generate keyboard/mouse events to interact with OS windows and native apps.

The primary purpose of Robot is to support selenium automated tests project build in Java platform