Murphy’s Law

So, this fellow Murphy came by the other day to bother the heck out of my little project!!

While I was just minding my own business and doing some hardware prototyping while the system was powered on as usual (there’s probably a warning hidden in there), he thought it necessary to short some connect points that should never touch. Sparks could be seen and smoke came spiralling out of FRAC’s innards; this Murphy guy sure does have a flair for the dramatic. After some investigation, it turned out that the power circuitry had burned out… and that was the end of the 12V battery power supply system, which is needed to power the motors and run the 5V system without mains power cord.

Oh well, it’s just a power circuit, let’s replace it and move on right? Yeah, I thought as much, but then Murphy determined that this power circuit is an integrated part of the GoPiGo controller board; that means replacing the whole GoPiGo controller board. No biggy. Except that this board is not separately available, only as part of a whole new robot base kit, for the sum of 76,- euro! Rather expensive little mistake ?.

But the story goes on: Murphy wouldn’t be Murphy if he didn’t first make sure that the replacement parts cannot be supplied from ready stock anymore. Instead of next day delivery, it is now on three weeks delivery time! So, in the meanwhile FRAC is condemned to a stationary existence. My original first objective of doing an autonomous round through the kitchen will have to wait for a couple of weeks…

On the upside, the project is not completely on hold: everything on the 5V power system still works by using a 5V mains adapter. So there is plenty of programming and experimenting to do with the Pi, the camera, the LEDs, the servos and the orientation sensor. Also, I still have some hardware documentation tasks to do for this very website… stay tuned for the next update!

So, what do you think of my little run-in with Murphy? Have you ever had something similar happening to your own project? Let me know in the comments below!

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