[Rack] robot IP address still not working

Jonathan Lassoff jof at thejof.com
Tue May 1 13:27:38 PDT 2012

On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 1:08 PM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
> It has been over six months since the robot wheelchair had an IP address.
> Work on the robot has basically stopped since then, because there is no
> way to get into it from the outside world.
> I do not have the ability to do anything about this myself, because the
> network at noisebridge is way too complicated for me to be able to do
> anything close to what I would have to do.  The most I can handle is
> setting up a router at a house with DSL, and turning on DMZ mode.
> Otherwise I would have done it myself by now.
> Since the robot can no longer be accessed from the outside world, all
> development on it has stopped.  It is frozen in time since the moment its
> umbilicus to the world was ruthlessly cut.
> It is almost too late to get it to a point where it's worth taking to
> maker faire.  It doesn't do anything new.  A lot of scripts are not
> working and need massaging to get them back into order.
> People have told me to use SSH port forwarding, but then they were unable
> to get it to work themselves, and there's extra lag because it has to pass
> through another machine.  It's not a solution at all.  Even if I could do
> it I wouldn't be able to explain it to the developers whose work I solicit
> on the robot.  It's not an option.
> I don't understand why it's impossible to give the robot an IP address.

I really want this to work again, too. I really do.

It's because of this Vyatta router that SuperQ put in. Its
configuration for NAT services doesn't actually seem to apply and do
what it should. It's Linux, but the management portion of things is
closed source. So, I've hit a point where I can't dive any deeper into
the problem.
There's an additional problem wherein the translated address needed to
get assigned to the external interface, but sshd is bound to *,
meaning the SSH daemon of the router was picking up, instead of NATing
stuff to MC Hawking.

I could "fix" the underlying configuration on the Linux kernel, but
that takes the configuration out of the Vyatta CLI, which I perceive
as the only real advantage to the Vyatta box.

I for one, would like to bring back the OpenBSD router. It worked well
for years, and was replaced because ....well, I don't really recall
why SuperQ had such zeal for a Linux router. I think the general
impression was that OpenBSD was "different" and users didn't want to
have to learn it to get stuff done.
Perhaps those that like the Vyatta box can speak as to why it's a win
for Noisebridge.

Jake -- based on our previous discussion, it sounds like all you
wanted was inbound (externally-initiated, landing on the robot as the
destination) SSH. If that's all, then we can easily forward you a port
from Pony or Minotaur. Connections to that port would just get
transparently masqueraded into MC Hawking instead.
Are there any special protocols you want to have talking into and out
of the robot?

My suggestion about tunneling still stands, though. Adding a daemon on
MC Hawking that transparent forward robot-hosted IP services into a
Internet-connected machine would be the best all-around solution.
That way, it can even be driven around, via cellular or foreign
Internet-connected WiFi networks and still be spoken to in the same

I don't know where others have fallen in getting this to happen, but
I'd like to see it work. I'm willing to help develop whatever tooling
is necessary.


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