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ZIM CPTS - Cyber Physical Test System

Cyber Physical Test System (CPTS): low-cost automated test system for embedded systems with cloud communication

Fast facts

  • Duration

About the project

Embedded systems have often been determined by electrical functionality in the past. If a microcontroller was present as a control, the software was likely to be regarded a subordinate component of system functionality. The production of such embedded systems was thus based essentially on the flawless electrical and mechanical assembly of printed circuit boards. The production test was carried out directly in the production line by an electrical or optical test (AOI or, for example, ICT), usually by a stand-alone test device. If a microcontroller was installed, then it was included only in the context of the final productive software in the test.

By now embedded systems are part of Cyber Physical Systems. The complexity and functionality of such software-intensive systems is dominated by the microcontroller, other digital assemblies and above all by the software. The production test of such a system can not be performed as a pure electronic test (for example ICT) or as a black box test. Test systems that can adequately test complex embedded systems are complex in operation and expensive. EMS service providers are therefore using state-of-the-art systems either for complex test systems such as full-featured in-circuit testers (ICT) for electrical and functional tests or self-built test equipment.

Software-intensive embedded systems are supplied by the manufacturer to a customer who installs them in their end products (e.g. devices, machines, systems). This customer (OEM business) must also carry out testing. Essential parts of the functionality can only be tested in the final product. For microcontroller-based, software-intensive embedded systems, there is therefore a need for a simple, cost-effective and networkable test solution for automating the testing or checking of electronic assemblies and for use in heterogeneous development and production networks.

This need is to be addressed by the Cyber Physical Test System (CPTS) to be developed. The system consists of:

  • a standardised, simple “test mouse” (description see below), which loads the device-under test (DUT) with verification programs and controls the test execution
  • additional modules for standardised or product-specific tests a connection via the Internet to a test cloud (description see below)
  • a user interface, e.g. in the form of a tablet

Central component is the so-called “Test mouse”. This is a compact module that is either cable-based or connected to the Internet with radio technology (WLAN, mobile radio) and has interfaces (plugs/sockets) for connection to the module to be tested (device-under-test ).


Another important component is the “Test cloud”. This server-side software based on e.g. “Internet of Things platform”, available as open source software, takes on the following functions, for example:

  • Management of test mice connected via the Internet, detection and integration of a test mouse after switch on
  • Configuration of the test mouse and the device-under-test (DUT) with software, testprograms etc. (transparent access)
  • Management of test programs, test data and protocols
  • Authentication of users (e.g. development and test engineers), user and rights management
  • Test evaluation

The two sub-projects of the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund deal with the following topics:

  • Development of the server-based test cloud solution and the user interface (subproject Sachweh, Department of Computer Science)
  • Development of FPGA-implemented measurement circuits for the test mouse (sub project Schulz, Department of Electrical Engineering)
Overview of the Cyber-Physical Test System (CPTS)

Funded by

Federal Ministery for Economic Affairs and Energy

Federal Ministery for Economic Affairs and Energy

Funding-ID

ZF4038209BZ8 (Sachweh)
ZF4595401BZ8 (Karagounis)

Cooperation / Project Partner

  • A.R. BAYER DSP Systeme GmbH
  • CP contech electronic GmbH
  • Hesse Vorrichtungen und Fertigungstechnik GmbH

Contact & Team

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