Adventures of the Kubernetes Vacuum Robots

Have you ever wondered how to run kubelet on a vacuum robot?

Our guess is, you haven’t - and nor have many other people. However, this didn’t stop Christian’s talk from attracting a large following at KubeCon Europe 2018, nor did it deter some curious conference goers from attempting to win a robot of their own!

You’ll be happy to hear that the robots will be back on stage in Hamburg, where Christian will be talking at Containerdays 2018.

This blog post recounts Christian’s journey with his 3 vacuum robots.

robot

One of the Team

Words of Wisdom from a Domestic God

Christian’s talk starred the Xiamio Mi Vacuum Robot, an affordable piece of kit (in case you were interested in investing). Inspired by a talk at 34C3 in 2017 - which revealed how to gain root access to the Ubuntu Linux operating system of the vacuum - Christian set about to first explain how the vacuum can be provisioned as a node in a Kubernetes cluster, and then how Kubernetes primitives can be used to control it:

  • CronJobs periodically schedule drives
  • a custom Prometheus exporter is used to track metrics of a vacuum’s life

Using custom controllers and CRDs, extended features of the vacuum can be utilised to:

  • request raw sensor readings
  • dump a map of your home
  • allow the vacuum to drive custom paths

Robots in Training

Along with 14 Jetstackers, 3 vacuum robots flew to Copenhagen in early May for the conference. They stayed with Christian in a nice Danish houseboat, which became the designated robot training ground. Christian had them running circles around the living room, as well as fetching him the necessary fuel to keep his strength up ready for the talk…

K8s Beer Run

Christian trained his robots up well

Why running kubelet on your vacuum robot is (not) a good idea!

Those who attended Christian’s talk learnt all about running kubelet on a vacuum robot to make their household chores more interesting, if not easier.

Another thing that we all took away from the talk, is that conference WiFi should never be trusted: the robots were disobedient in the live demo, and - alas! - the stage at KubeCon was left dusty.

Robot Relocation

Following the talk, we had a surprise in store: It was revealed that vacuum robot #3 was to be rehomed, and that one lucky conference goer would have the privilege of taking it away with them!

We decided to pick names from a hat to find our winner. In the moments leading up to the draw, the Jetstack stand was surrounded by a crowd of budding domestic gods and goddesses, all eager to be in with the chance to vacuum their homes with the aid of Kubernetes.

Christian drew the name of the lucky winner from Richard’s cap: Congratulations were in order for Carolina Londoño, who took her new vacuum robot home with her - all the way to Colombia!

carolinarobot

Christian with Carolina in Copenhagen; vacuum robot #3 en route to Colombia

Containerdays, Hamburg 2018

Catch Christian and his vacuum robots at Containerdays 2018 in Hamburg on Tuesday 19th June at 17.20. Here’s to hoping they clean up this time (literally!)