Tapster is a newly created robot that was designed for automating mobile applications on a mobile device.
Stimulating a human finger on a touchscreen, Tapster reaches out with a stylus-type “finger” so that users can automate apps on mobile devices, such as the iPhone or an android device. Software developers need to check that every important interaction still works when a line of code is changed, and while it’s easy to manually check things yourself or have your friends and colleagues help, now there’s a robot to do it for you!
Designed and built by Jason Huggins, he built the robot using open-source components, including an Arduino controller and 3D printable components. He used Selenium, which is an open source framework for running automated tests on web application. It’s a device that is easily programmed via Node.js, which means it’s accessible for software developers who are more familiar with wb languages.
It allows developers to test many parts of an application in any browser, including IE, Firefox, and Google Chrome. When the iPhone was launched, it presented the problem of the touchscreen, as there are many more ways to interact with the iPhone and its type. Apple didn’t offer API for building testing tools, which meant that manual testing of mobile apps was required.
“As with any new technology, people who have Tapsters are kicking the tires and learning how to program it,” said Huggins. “It’s still early days in the robot-powered testing revolution.”
Huggins continued, “Agile development makes developers want to go faster, but testers can’t keep up. People who want to slow down the process, whether that’s a database administrator or a tester, those people are being phased out. “
Huggins thinks Tapster will bridge the gap between automated testing. It started as a joke to have a robot playing Angry Birds, and then he created the original version of the tool and when he started showing it at conferences like the Disrupt NY Hackathon, there was enough interest to put it on the Tindie marketplace.
Here are the details:
- Simulates a human finger on a capacitive touchscreen device
- Open source hardware (BSD License)
- 3D printable
- Made with Bitbeam, an open-source 3D printable LEGO-Technic compatible building system.
- Programmed with Node.js + Johnny-Five + Arduino (Nodebots FTW!)
- Selenium WebDriver and Appium compatible
- Designed by the creator of Selenium, the popular browser automation tool.
- USB powered (5V)
- Tappable area is 140mm x 80mm (Ideal for Nexus 4, iPhone 4, or iPhone 5)
- Knows how to dance
Tapspter can help with things like testing movement for companies; however at this point, the distributors are looking for a mathematician to help refine the product.