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Test automation for embedded systems by Bluefruit Software

Testing is a critical part of ensuring quality. At Bluefruit we use behaviour-driven acceptance tests combined with rigorous manual testing every sprint. Approaching testing in this way provides us with the ability to safely explore and innovate for our clients and their users. Simply put, the more we test the better the eventual outcome.

But manual testing can be hard to scale. It is reliant on access to hardware and a well trained and experienced team. So, we’ve been working on ways to help solve that problem and test even more through a multi-faceted, automated test framework.

Our automated testing is not an off-the-shelf test rig or a ready to buy product. It is custom built to suit the product it is testing and the level of rigour required. Our clients benefit from a suite of tools that allow us to custom build an automated testing setup quickly and effectively, with a focus on delivering tests that align to compliance regulations and naturally build the needed documentation.

Why Automated Testing?

We believe that the right testing architecture can help:​

  • Reduce overall software and hardware testing time ​
  • Scale up testing without needing to increase the number of testers working on a project ​
  • Increase the speed, parallelism, and regularity of testing​
  • Identify bugs faster leading to faster resolution and increase software developer productivity​
  • Provide greater visibility of any project risks ​
  • Boost the frequency of compliant software releases without jeopardising quality ​
  • Deliver increased reporting and evidence for any documentation requirements ​
  • Future-proof testing regimes with a solid and ongoing test framework set up for future regression tests once the project is launched ​
  • Make the management of multiple product variants far more manageable​

What is the Bluefruit approach to embedded software test automation?

We take a unique approach to our test automation configurations, but common elements include:

  • Creating “executable specifications”​
  • Automate tests ​with macro recorder or code
  • Continuously run tests​ on every branch, sprint, release candidate, release​
  • View status of technical specs and/or tests on a dashboard, supported with living documentation

What does this look like?

Custom Bluefruit test management platform:

  • Project management​
  • Requirements management​
  • Test management​

Automation tool kit​:

  • Robot arm control to interact with physical buttons, controls, touchscreens, assay insertions and other mechanical interfaces​
  • Screen Optical Character Recognition (OCR), applying machine vision to check text on physical displays​
  • Embedded Linux and Qt integration​ to provide Selenium style user-interface testing for checking content of user-interfaces as well as look-and-feel
  • I2C/SPI/UART connections​ to simulate sensors, actuators and other external devices
  • Bespoke connection development such as Touchscreen​ integration AI / Deep learning categoriser​ applying custom built AI tools to assess test pass/ fail

Test framework​:

  • Gherkin / BDD / ATDD integration​
  • Macro recorder​
  • Programming​ the custom test framework

Support services​:

  • Test writing​
  • Bespoke interfaces​
  • Automated test development​
  • Manual test execution​
  • Compliance consulting​
  • Living documentation configuration

Working Together

Bluefruit can provide embedded software test automation as a stand-alone solution or as a part of an embedded software project. How the testing is done is also up to you. We can set up a test environment for you in our office in Cornwall or work with you to set them up with your team wherever you are. As a completely bespoke offering we’re happy to work with you to create an automated test suite that fits your company needs.

Interested in implementing test automation?

Speak with our team today to find out how we can help you get the right testing framework for your project. Email us at info@bluefruit.co.uk or call us on +44 (0) 808 18 000 55  (FREEPHONE).