Automated Testing of Microcontroller Product

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I'm involved with an embedded product that controls a mechanical system for
automobiles.  Our testing process for each software release typically takes
about 3 weeks, and is done by a person.

It seems we should be able to automate our testing of the product.  But, in
order to do this, we'd need to control with a computer the inputs to the
product (discrete, A/D), the loads driven by the product, to simulate
various electrical fault conditions (shorts, etc.); and of course to monitor
how the software behaves to determine if it passes or fails each test.

Is there any hardware software framework in which to do this (perhaps a
company makes a product involving A/D boards, etc.)?  I'd hate to reinvent
the wheel.

Thanks, Dave Ashley

Re: Automated Testing of Microcontroller Product
On Mon, 8 Aug 2005 22:45:01 -0400, the renowned "David T. Ashley"

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Suggest you check out Labview.

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
"it's the network..."                          "The Journey is the reward"             Info for manufacturers:
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Re: Automated Testing of Microcontroller Product

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I used to work for B-Tree Systems, now known as TestQuest.  They're
probably the best in the business.  They make a complete system,
including target stimulus, monitoring, script recording and
development, and test case management software.

It used to be the majority of our customers were medical device
manufacturers, but we did develop systems for gas pumps and printers
as well. As I understand it, they tend to concentrate on cell phone
stuff these days, but they might be able to help you.  Definitely not
going to be cheap, however.

You might want to look at as well.
All I really know about him is that he was employed at B-Tree some of
the time I was there.  I think his business model is to make money on
testing contracts rather than on test systems.  He does have some
stuff on his web site showing how it works.


Change is inevitable, progress is not.

Re: Automated Testing of Microcontroller Product
I used to work for a company that did that very thing.  Actually still
do, but now design the product, not the tester.  I assume you are
looking for a "buck" tester or an End Of Line (EOL) type tester that is
highly automated(ie pushing buttons, manipulating electrical inputs,
etc) and not a durability/vibration/shock tester.  We do both
types(production and QC).

We generally did everything with COTS PC hardware and "custom" VB code.
 We had a pretty standard library of code base so we could turn a
tester in reasonably short order.  It generally takes longer to build
the physical tester(nesting, pogo nests, wiring, etc) than to actually
code it.

If you have interest, please contact me off list  cyberzl1  AT yahoo
DOT com

We have a lot experience in the automotive world, it is our primary
customer base.  We do some other stuff "on the side", but it isn't our
major thing.


Re: Automated Testing of Microcontroller Product
Hello David,

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If the inputs are rather simple you might get by with something like
this but you'd probably have to write or at least customize some software:

If that ain't enough check out Spehro's suggestion.

Regards, Joerg

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