Debugging Tools

CU Boulder PIs:  Ann Eisenberg and Mark Gross
CU Boulder research team:  Michael J. Schneider,  Christian Hill
Contributors: Arielle Blum, Ethan Frier, Rona Sadan
In collaboration with Yasmin Kafai,  University of Pennsylvania; and Debbie Fields,  Utah State University

We are developing hardware and software tools to assist in the process of “debugging” e-textile circuits.  E-textile debugging presents a unique set of constraints due to the flexible and fabric-based nature of project materials.

This is a National Science Foundation-sponsored project: Award # 1742081: Collaborative Research: Debugging by Design: Developing a Tool Set for Debugging with Electronic Textiles to Promote Computational and Engineering Thinking in High School

This is a logic probe for e-textile makers that enables them to easily test and debug their code and circuitry without a multimeter.

A regular multimeter can be difficult to use while your wearable or e-textile is moving or on your body. This device solves that issue, acting as a lightweight and dependable voltage meter that can be easily added to most projects. 

The ThreadBoard is a magnetic breadboard for embedded computing that allows for the rapid prototyping of e-textile circuits. The motivation behind the ThreadBoard is to develop a tool that will adapt to the unique set of constraints that e-textile creators face when fabricating an e-textile project.

The Circuit Playground Extension is a tool that enables the user to design e-textile circuitry with debugging in mind. 

Circuit Check is a debugging system for testing hardware components. It allows the user to easily check onboard and external sensor information; drive onboard and external actuators such as LEDs; and set pin states and PWM – all without the need to compile code after the initial setup.


Workshop: inventHQ (ages 10-14). June 2021.


Publications related to this project:

Hill, C.; Schneider, M.; Eisenberg, A.; Gross, M. 2021. The ThreadBoard: Designing an E-Textile Rapid Prototyping Board. In Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’21) (virtual conference). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 23, 1–7. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3430524.3440642

Hill, C.; Schneider, M.; Gross, M.; Eisenberg, A.; Blum, A.  2020.  A Wearable Meter That Actively Monitors the Continuity of E-Textile Circuits as They Are Sewn.    To appear in Proceedings of FabLearn 2020.  New York, NY.  Oct. 10-11, 2020. (virtual)

Schneider, M.;  Hill, C.; Gross, M.; Eisenberg, A.; Blum, A.  2020.  A Software Debugger for E-textiles and Arduino Microcontrollers.  To appear in Proceedings of FabLearn 2020.  New York, NY.  Oct. 10-11, 2020. (virtual)

Schneider, M. J.  2020.  Pin Status:  An Arduino Debugging Library for High School Students.  ACM Student Competition Paper.  Proceedings of the Technical Symposium, Organized by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE).  Portland, OR, March 11-14, 2020.  (Conference cancelled). https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3328778.3372712

Sadan, Rona. 2020.  A “Low-Floor” Multimeter: Supporting E-textile Debugging by Revealing Voltage and Continuity. ACM Student Competition Paper.  Abstract to be published in Proceedings of the Technical Symposium, Organized by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE).  Portland, OR, March 11-14, 2020.  (Conference cancelled). https://doi.org/10.1145/3328778.3372713