When you come home to a crying robot

Came home tonight from photographing some Great Horned Owls and owlets, and feeding peanuts to lots of squirrels, feeling peaceful.

My wife came out of the office saying “Carl needs you. He’s all lit up with flashing yellow lights. He’s not going to catch on fire, is he?”

I reassured her Carl was not going to catch on fire, as I went to see what had Carl so worried that he would be flashing his health alarm lights. As I entered the office, Carl indeed was flashing his “I can’t reach my friend Mac” light, “Mac” had shutdown, and Mac’s UPS was screaming in total discontent.

After cycling the UPS, “Mac” came back to life, and Carl returned to peaceful contemplation of things robots think about when they don’t think they are “alone in the dark”.

Turns out the 350W micro-ATX power supply of my external GPU decided its dust allergies were too much for it, and somehow caused the UPS to command Mac to shutdown for his own protection.

After watching @jimrh negotiate the power supply supply in Russia, and with the crypto-miners driving the specs and demand, it seems no-one has the tiny 350W exact replacement supply available. I’m going to try to retrofit a larger 550W into the box and hope I can return to having my second 4K display working again.

Life with a robot is never dull.

Carl panicked that he was alone for an hour and a half:

2022-04-26 19:01|[healthCheck.py.main]WiFi Router not responding (10.0.0.Mac)
2022-04-26 20:30|[healthCheck.py.main]WiFi Router again reachable


Pictures or it didn’t happen! :wink:

Who’s “Mac”?

Once you have it hooked up and a load on it, put a meter on a low AC range across the DC terminals to make sure you have enough load to suppress regulator noise.


It all started so bucolic. The squirrels were discussing politics (or robots?):


Dad was totally worthless watching the photographers:


While Mom went cross-eyed doing all the baby tending (month ago):


And now bringing new foods for the fledgling to see and try
(but owlet No1 is not interested in this once adorable Common Gallinule chick):


While owlet No2 refuses to leave the nest:


Owlet No 1 Fledging:


So Mom took the food back to her refrigerator (palm tree across the river)
and resumed watching the fledgling jump and fly from limb to limb:


“Mac” is Carl’s friend and confidant.
(Carl checks on Mac once every second even though he doesn’t need Mac for anything.).
(Mac Mini 2018 and eGPU with blown power supply)


Why does Carl do this if Mac isn’t necessary?


To let me know, and log, when my WiFi has outages. Carl doesn’t need Mac, but I need to know when I have to use speech to check on Carl rather than through my more usual ssh command line. Additionally, I like to be able to know what to check first if the wife wakes me up at 3 AM telling me she can’t get to her European friends on Facebook.


“Its Alive!” - The huge power supply just barely fit, with some serious panel surgery. Just did a circuit (with the eGPU working) in “my airplane” and get full 1080p screen with photorealistic scenery of 45 to 58 FPS or 4K resolution at 25-30FPS.


Cleanest my desk has been in months

Main Display

Second Display:


4K Approach to KLNA at 25FPS


Fantastic pictures.

I never cease to be impressed by all of the things you have Carl doing.

But have you considered that Mac and Carl could be plotting behind your back? :robot:
You should check to make sure there is isn’t a log entry like

2022-05-01 02:00|[uprising.py.main] Planning conference with Mac initiated
2022-05-01 02:01|[uprising.py.main] Planning conference with Mac concluded
(a minute is a long conference for a robot…) :wink:



I keep hoping they will. It is really neat to see a robot do what you programmed it to do, and even more amazing when they learn to do what they were programmed to learn. When someone programs them to learn what to learn next, I’ll start worrying that the computers are close to learning to decide for themselves what to learn.


Thanks - A day without photographing nature, even if playing with robots all day, gives me cabin fever.


A day without contributing something, like my recent pull request to update the GiggleBot code, or the granddaughters helping localize the GiggleBot into Russian, is, (for me), is a day I shoulda’ stayed in bed.  :wink:


That’s one HUGE HONKIN’ power supply!

Just make sure you’re not getting ripple due to lack of load on any of the voltage busses.