Since this is a hardware based project, it is harder for us to debug by simply staring at the chips. We thus require some visualization tools to help us visualize and debug the data.
MQTT We have been using the broker from shiftr.io to help us visualize the data. It has a nice graph to show what data is passing through. It is easy for us to see whether the connection is sound.
Our interface We ended up using our own broker, and thus did not rely on the shiftr interface. We had an interface as follows that shows all the data from the balls. The statuses helped us see what the colors of the balls were, and the graph helped us see whether the data from the balls are showing as expected.