Intel researchers design smartphone-powered robot that costs $50 to assemble

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Robots don’t have to be expensive. In fact, if there’s a smartphone handy, a wheeled ‘bot can be built for around $50, according to Matthias Muller and Vladlen Koltun. The two Intel researchers are the coauthors of a recent paper titled “OpenBot: Turning Smartphones into Robots,” which proposes leveraging phones to equip robots with sensors, computation, communication, and access to an open software ecosystem.

Using off-the-shelf smartphones as robot brains confers a number of advantages beyond cost savings. Rapid upgrade cycles mean secondhand smartphones are readily available — an estimated 40% of the world’s population owns smartphones — and they’re constantly improving with regard to camera quality and processor speed. Moreover, even commodity models sport inertial measurement units, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular modems, and dedicated chips for AI inference, some of which outperform desktop processors.

In the researchers’ OpenBot design, a smartphone plugs into an electromechanical body for sensing, data

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Citrus County School District deals with an internet outage

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The Citrus County School District says a problem with its internet provider has taken it offline. 



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School leaders said the internet connection to the district’s network plays a vital role in keeping communication open to everyone for both on and off-campus programs. 

The school district said this isn’t the first time this has happened. It was also offline on Tuesday. The provider told school leaders they thought they fixed the issue. 

The school district apologized for the inconvenience and said their internet provider was working hard to get everything back online.  



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INTERNET OUTAGE: Due to an issue with our internet service provider… , our connection to the internet is currently down. This connection to the district network is a vital part of keeping communication open to all programs used on and off-campus by teachers, staff, and students.

What

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Dead by Daylight: Horror game Dead by Daylight gets cross-platform support between PC and consoles

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Game developer Behaviour Interactive has added cross-platform support to its asymmetrical horror game Dead by Daylight on PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch. The cross-platform support now allows friends to join in the same game, be it from PC, PS4, Xbox or Nintendo Switch. Both Cross-Play and Cross-Friends are available on PC and consoles. Dead by Daylight announced this via Twitter.

The new cross-platform support will add to the pool of potential matchmaking friends and will let people play with anyone with a Dead by Daylight ID. Cross-play support is already there on Steam and Windows Store versions of the game. The latest announcement bridges the divide between PC and console players and has increased the chances of more number of players meeting online

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Alabama internet vouchers are in the mail, state agency says

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Alabama families waiting for vouchers to cover internet service should find them in their mailboxes not later than the end of this week, according to the agency handling the voucher program, called Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students.

“As of (Sept. 4), all 250,000 letters have been mailed out to families with children enrolled in the National School Lunch Program but it will take a few days for all of them to land in mailboxes,” according to Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Communication Chief Mike Presley. Those 250,000 vouchers should cover up to 450,000 children, as only one voucher was mailed for each eligible family.

Vouchers began being mailed on Aug. 24.

“The staggered mailing was designed to avoid overloading internet service providers and to enable them to take orders by phone without causing long delays on the phone for families calling to place orders.”

The vouchers, good for

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