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Integration Testing using MAVSDK

PX4 can be tested end to end to using integration tests based on MAVSDK.

The tests are primarily developed against SITL for now and run in continuous integration (CI). However, they are meant to generalize to real tests eventually.

Install the MAVSDK C++ Library

The tests need the MAVSDK C++ library installed system-wide (e.g. in /usr/lib or /usr/local/lib).

Install either from binaries or source:

Prepare PX4 Code

To build the PX4 code, use:

DONT_RUN=1 make px4_sitl gazebo mavsdk_tests

Run All PX4 Tests

To run all SITL tests as defined in sitl.json, do:

test/mavsdk_tests/ test/mavsdk_tests/configs/sitl.json --speed-factor 10

To see all possible command line arguments, check out:

test/mavsdk_tests/ -h

usage: [-h] [--log-dir LOG_DIR] [--speed-factor SPEED_FACTOR] [--iterations ITERATIONS] [--abort-early] [--gui] [--model MODEL]
                             [--case CASE] [--debugger DEBUGGER] [--verbose]

positional arguments:
  config_file           JSON config file to use

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --log-dir LOG_DIR     Directory for log files
  --speed-factor SPEED_FACTOR
                        how fast to run the simulation
  --iterations ITERATIONS
                        how often to run all tests
  --abort-early         abort on first unsuccessful test
  --gui                 display the visualization for a simulation
  --model MODEL         only run tests for one model
  --case CASE           only run tests for one case
  --debugger DEBUGGER   choice from valgrind, callgrind, gdb, lldb
  --verbose             enable more verbose output

Notes on implementation

  • The tests are invoked from the test runner script, which is written in Python. This runner also starts px4 as well as Gazebo for SITL tests, and collects the logs of these processes.
  • The test runner is a C++ binary It contains:
    • The main function to parse the arguments.
    • An abstraction around MAVSDK called autopilot_tester.
    • The actual tests using the abstraction around MAVSDK as e.g. test_multicopter_mission.cpp.
    • The tests use the catch2 unit testing framework. The reasons for using this framework are:
      • Asserts (REQUIRE) which are needed to abort a test can be inside of functions (and not just in the top level test as is the case with gtest).
      • Dependency management is easier because catch2 can just be included as a header-only library.
      • Catch2 supports tags, which allows for flexible composition of tests.

Terms used:

  • "model": This is the selected Gazebo model, e.g. iris.
  • "test case": This is a catch2 test case.

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