07. 24. 2023
13 min read

A look into our gita testing process

Making robots is no simple feat, but we like to think we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Once our robots are built, we put them through an extensive testing and review process to make sure we’re putting the best version of our products out in the world. We sat down with Peter, Sr. Director of Product Support at PFF, and asked him all about the ins and outs of our testing processes and what goes into making sure our robots are up to both our’s and our customers’ standards. Here’s what he had to say: 

At a high level, can you talk through what the testing process looks like?

“Testing is a very lengthy process, not only for new products but also for new software versions and other improvements. Testing starts with our internal teams. Several departments have their own rigorous criteria that they follow during the testing process, each one testing the many different components of the product. Once the internal team signs off on the testing, they hand it off to the external testing. During this phase of testing, we hire 10-12 independent contractors to test the robot in the real world. During this phase, the testers will walk for 8 hrs a day, using the robot as we intend our customers to use it and also in ways we have not thought of yet. This is the most important part of testing. A new software or product will not be approved for release until this phase has been completed without any issues.”

How many robots are being tested at a time?

Internal testing will use anywhere from 5-10 units. External testing will use 10-12 units.”

What criteria do the robots have to meet in order to be "approved"?

“Each new product or software release has a list of new features and improvements. Goals and testing metrics are established prior to testing and tracked throughout the testing process. In addition to the new features, we also track the robot's core functionality (i.e. following, pairing, connectivity, etc). We want to ensure that the new features have not diminished the customer experience.”

What issues do we look out for when testing units?

First, we make sure the units are functioning properly. Following is probably the most important function we observe for issues. We want to make sure it is following the goals that we determined for the best customer experience. We also look for issues including the mygita app, confirming that the units connect to the device and the features on the app work correctly. We also look for any mechanical or electrical issues that may arise.”

How long does it take to properly test each software version?

Testing timelines vary from software version. A more complicated software release that may impact multiple components of the unit usually takes 4-6 weeks for both internal and external testing. We strive for the testing to be rapid so we can get the new software to our customers, but we take testing very seriously and we will take extra time to make sure the customer is getting the best product available.”

How does your team incorporate customer improvement into the testing process?

We will create very specific situations to test the improvements. One that comes to mind is when we released the Doors feature. We built a door frame complete with a door that opens both ways in our office. The testing team must have walked through that doorway, at least, 5000 times. Because this is such a complicated maneuver that gita does, we had to make sure that it performs as expected. The last thing we want to do is to make the customer experience more difficult. We are still walking through that door trying to perfect the Doors feature.”

What's the most unique use of gita you've seen from customers?

“Oh boy! I love our customers and the way they use their robots. The majority of them use it as an extra set of hands. Carrying groceries from the store, hauling the ridiculous amount of items you need to take kids to the park (I can say that as I use my gita for that purpose and my kids have a tremendous amount of 'stuff'). I enjoy the stories from the customers that they purchased gita so they can walk more. They want to walk more to reduce their driving time, to help out the environment, or they want to be more active in their lives. The most unique uses of gita robots have to be how people use them in their professions. From food delivery to photography, gita is being put to work and making the owner's life easier.”

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