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Cognizant Looks to Automate Testing of Connected Devices


NelsonHall has been commenting recently on the future of testing, looking at how AI algorithms and RPA tools fit in the context of QA. This blog takes a different perspective by looking at how one of the tier-one software testing service vendors is approaching its testing of bots and connected devices. With the fast adoption of connected devices, automating testing of consumer or industrial IoT-based products has become a new challenge for QA.

We recently talked with Cognizant to understand how the company is addressing this challenge, and learned that the company already has several projects in process. One example is its work for a telecom service provider that sells home security services to consumers based on devices on sensors that trigger an alarm if someone attempts to effect an entry. The client has outsourced the design and manufacturing of the devices, working with around ten suppliers, focusing itself on developing algorithms running on the firmware/embedded systems of the devices. Cognizant has been helping the client on regression testing for each new release of the client’s embedded software on the security devices. Cognizant’s approach includes two fundamental principles: to conduct testing with a lab-based approach, and to leverage automation in the testing.

Cognizant is using its TEBOT robotic testing solution to test for interoperability between firmware, devices, and OS. TEBOT automates human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions at the physical-digital level for IoT. It takes a UI approach, using software tools such as Selenum and Appium for its test execution needs and for invoking API calls for Raspberry Pi, triggering physical actions/movements. For those readers not familiar with a Raspberry Pi, it is a nano-computer developed by the University of Cambridge’s Raspberry Pi Foundation to help spread IT skills. The main benefits of a Raspberry Pi are that they are very inexpensive, with prices starting as low as $35, and small (the size of a credit card). Cognizant has been able to test several scenarios for the client around detection of flood, smoke sensors, door opening, motion in the house, light, and temperature change. TEBOT also has reporting capabilities with a dashboard that displays results of tests.

Cognizant has also been using TEBOT to test how the client’s home security product reacts to human instructions. The company also uses TEBOT for recreating human voice and provide instructions to virtual assistants (e.g. Amazon’s Alexa) and get results.

Cognizant continues to invest in TEBOT. Looking ahead, a priority is to put TEBOT into the agile process, with continuous testing. Another key priority is to keep the price of TEBOT at affordable levels while being able to replicate it in other sites. The company is currently conducting TEBOT-based testing in its Bangalore lab for one of its clients and highlights that it can replicate the lab anywhere, given the low level of investment required.

With its TEBOT IP, Cognizant is providing a lab-based approach to connected device testing. Cognizant claims this automation-based approach can deliver 30%+ reduction in test cycle times compared with manual testing and 40% reduction in cost of quality around smart device certification. Cognizant also offers real-life testing for connected devices, here using its internal crowdsourcing capabilities with its fastest offering.

Comments to this post:

  • It is great to see how Cognizant TEBOT automates human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interaction. We have expereinced its benefit in Healthcare industry as well where wearables where wellness and fitness applications come together. It truly is a cost and time saver for the customers.

    Apr 11, 2019, by Srinivas Pochiraju

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