CSE498, Collaborative Design, Spring 2014
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Whirlpool Corporation, headquartered in Benton Harbor, Michigan, is a worldwide innovator in manufacturing a diverse range of household appliances and technologies.

Today there is much more to a Whirlpool appliance than what meets the eye. Cloud computing, digital sensor networks, and internet connectivity are but a few of the many tools used by Whirlpool to give customers a truly modern experience.

Yet, building connected appliances is challenging in an age when software can be written faster than its corresponding hardware can be built. Coding for a “smart appliance” often finishes well before a hardware prototype can be built.

Our Virtual Appliance Simulator allows Whirlpool software developers to create virtual connected appliances to test their software in a simulated environment. Instead of setting up several dozen actual appliances, an engineer can push a button and create tens of thousands of virtual appliances ready to do testing within seconds.

A Whirlpool dryer is shown at the right along with a virtual version of the exact same appliance. Using our web interface, a Whirlpool engineer is able to select the type, number of connected appliances to be simulated, and the behavior of each simulated machine.

Whirlpool Virtual Appliance Simulator is written in Java and is optimized for an Ubuntu Linux environment. All front end user interfaces are web based, written in PHP, to ensure cross platform compatibility with all popular operating systems and with all common web browsers.