I did consider trying a proper fleet management utility, but it didn’t seem like a good fit:
My target application is unlikely to have access to an internet connection or even a central base-station,
My robots don’t have wheels or batteries or anything that needs monitoring or logging,
My prototype cycle regularly makes fleet-at-once changes, which seems like it would need enterprise features on Freedom Robotics?
Using ansible to synchronise the robots with a local git server works beautifully, and using ansible to launch works fine for short benchtop tests (launch is beyond the intended scope of ansible, but it doesn’t leave a mess when it breaks)
For extended operation and restart at reboot, I’ve been using my lauchfiles wrapped in a systemd service. That has been absolutely bulletproof and very straightforward, and I highly recommend it.
I’ve put together an ansible template for automating ros-launch-as-systemd-service setup, that’ll appear on github soon.