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I did something like you mentioned in my work as research assistant in the university. Probably this will become open source in the next month. So I will describe how i did it and give you some hints.

I have 4 packages.

  • first generate's yaml files with the description of the simulation (models, poses ,plugins, parameter, etc)
  • second loads these files and starts all launchfiles, spawn objects, etc.
  • an observer to determine if a test has ended and if it was successful
  • a logger to collect datas like rosbag, test time, etc
  • (5.) a small visualization library

I also used python and the subprocess-API this worked fine for me. More problematic is to kill all the programs/nodes that was running (specially action_server like move_base). So at the end of the test i just reset the simulation and only kill nodes that i really need to be kill. Also over time the memory usage of my system getting really high. Couldn't figure out why is that. But for this reason i restart the framework every 100 tests.

Hope that will help you. If you have more questions please ask me.